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From White City to Green Haven: Jackson Park’s Transformations

  • Newberry Library 60 West Walton St Chicago, IL 60610 (map)

Renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was unimpressed when he first laid eyes on what would become Chicago’s South Park. But despite his initial trepidation, he produced a magnificent original plan for the 1055-acre green space. He went on to create full plans for the Jackson Park part of the site two more times during the late 19th century. He transformed the largely-unimproved site into the fairgrounds for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and between 1895 and 1897, he recreated the park again—this time to make transforming into lovely and useable parkland. In this lecture historian Julia Bachrach will highlight the 19th century development of Jackson Park. She will explore the ways in which natural features, Olmsted’s philosophies about society, the World’s Fair, recreational needs and expectations, and collaborations with architect Daniel H. Burnham helped him shaped Jackson Park during its various phases.

Image: Glass slide of Japanese Pavilion in Jackson Park, ca. 1930. Chicago Public Library Special Collections, Chicago Park District Archives, Photos.

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