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Designed to Dazzle and Delight: Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

On February 24, 1890 when the U.S. Congress awarded Chicago with the honor of hosting the next World’s Fair, city leaders had a daunting task ahead of them.  Millions of dollars had to be raised and a 600-acre site had to be identified and secured.  In the period of only a couple of years, the fair’s windswept lakefront site would be transformed into a magnificent fairgrounds.  Despite numerous obstacles, Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and New York’s renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted worked with some of the nation’s most talented designers and artists to create the “White City.”  Chicago’s dazzling and delightful World’s Columbian Exposition hosted more than 26 million visitors. Although the fair remained open for six months in 1893, it had a lasting impact that is still relevant today.

Greater Illinois Region- Classic Car of America
Riverside Receptions, Geneva, IL 

Image: Chicago Public Library, Special Collections, WCE CDA2_5, 1893. Photograph by C.D. Arnold.