The Great White City

More than any world’s fair before or since, the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893 had a lasting effect on its visitors, the taste of the times, and the lusty community that brought it forth

When the plans for the World’s Columbian Exposition were spread before him, banker Lyman J. Gage greeted them with disbelief. “Oh, gentlemen,” he said, “this is a dream. Yon have my good wishes. I hope the dream can be realized.” The occasion—one the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens called “the greatest meeting of artists since the fifteenth century”was a day-long session in the architectural offices of Daniel Burnham early in 1891.