|Flocking to the World's Fair, Chicago, 1893(source)|
|The Rookery, Chicago|
|THE office, of Burhman & Root, 11th floor, The Rookery, Chicago.|
The Rookery...was revolutionary in several respects. Its architecture was unique and much more ornate than had been seen to date in commercial buildings. The Rookery successfully implemented many new and breakthrough building technologies - including metal framing, elevators, fireproofing, electrical lighting, and plate glass - that established the commercial acceptance of the modern skyscraper. At 11 stories tall, The Rookery was one of the earliest examples of metal framing with masonry walls on such a large scale. Today, it is considered the oldest standing high-rise in Chicago.
Moorish, Romanesque Commercial, Indian, Venetian, Arabian, Islamic, Byzantine: all these words have been used to describe the Rookery’s exterior motifs. Some critics said that the mix of styles lacked unity, but others felt that the repeating patterns were an interpretation of American culture, reflecting a spirit of conquest.
|Frank Lloyd Wright's idea of an office building atrium.|
|FLW's decorative touches, Rookery atrium.|
|The oriel staircase, The Rookery|
|The first Ferris Wheel (source)|
They also came to see new inventions, like Wrigley's Juicy Fruit chewing gum. They came to see and ride the amazingly huge world's first Ferris Wheel (designed by a Kansas engineer named Ferris, expressly to out-do the Paris Fair's Eiffel Tower). And they came to see curiosities (including native peoples) from far-flung countries around the world which they'd be unlikely ever to visit, and to see animals and crafts, minerals and plants, that were strange and curious.
|At Chicago's Field Museum.|
The White City is said to have inspired a whole movement focussed on urban planning:
The White City is largely credited for ushering in the City Beautiful movement and planting the seeds of modern city planning. The highly integrated design of the landscapes, promenades, and structures provided a vision of what is possible when planners, landscape architects, and architects work together on a comprehensive design scheme...Where the municipal art movement focused on beautifying one feature in a City, the City Beautiful movement began to make improvements on the scale of the district. The White City of the World's Columbian Exposition inspired the Merchant's Club of Chicago to commission Daniel Burnham to create the Plan of Chicago in 1909, which became the first modern comprehensive city plan in America. (from Wiki)The Fair had more than 200 buildings, almost all of which were designed to be temporary. Their facades were made not of stone, but of a mixture of plaster, cement, and jute fibre called staff, which was painted white, giving the buildings their "gleam". Architecture critics derided the structures as "decorated sheds". (Wiki) In any event, the whole lot burnt down in a big fire in July 1894, about six months after the fair closed. A couple of survivors, which were intended to be permanent, remain: the Palace of Fine Arts (original home of The Field, now Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry); and the World's Congress Building in Grant Park (now the Art Institute of Chicago).
And in the Art Institute you can find, if you look closely, a few more remnants of the original fair, including these panels from the Japanese Pavilion, restored and displayed in the oriental art section of the galleries:
|Panels from the original Japanese pavilion at the 1893 World's Fair, Chicago.|