Abbildungen der Seite


8. 1894, fire destroyed the Casino, Peristyle, and Music Hall, and damaged the Manufactures building; and on July 5, 1894, the Terminal station, Administration_building. Agricultural, Electricity, Mines and Mining, Machinery and Manufactures and Liberal Arts buildings were burned. What the elements left became man's prey. A writer visiting Jackson Park in April, 1895, says:

A few workmen are listlessly engaged in completing the destruction. They call it restoration. The onlookers, who see them at work with sledges and cold chisels, call it chaos. The men work slowly and seem to produce no results. Twisted masses of iron are heaped where shining palaces once stood.

'The monastery of La Rabida has been spared for what, in the swift destruction of all things around it, may be regarded as a green old age. It stands silent and deserted on its lonely promontory, buffeted by the waves that sweep over the sea wall. It has made a brave stand against the snows and frosts of two winters. The tiles are crumbling from the roof, some of the windows are broken in, some of the doors are hanging outward, and the dead weeds stand tall and quaint in the quiet courtyard. But from the towers the iron crosses still point heavenward. Time has spared them and the statue of The Republic near by, no longer shining in a raiment of gold, but in a new and fairer garb of purest white. All the rest is ruin, brooding heavily on the place that used to intoxicate with its fanfares, its peals of bells, its pageants, its people.'

History.-By the summer of 1889, the much-discussed plan of holding a World's Fai in 1892 to commemorate the discovery of America by Columbus began to assume definite shape, and meetings of prominent citizens were held in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis on the call of the mayors of these cities to discuss plans and take steps to secure the site. A World's Fair bill was introduced in the U. S. senate December 19, 1889, by Senator Cullom of Illinois, which was referred to a committee which during the following January held a hearing on the subject of locating the site. Delegations appeared before the committee from various cities, that from St. Louis headed by Gov. Francis of Missouri, New York by Chauncey M. Depew, and Chicago by Mayor Cregier. A vote was taken in the house Feb. 24, 1890, Chicago securing the site on the eighth ballot, which stood 157 for Chicago, 107 for New York, 25 for St. Louis, and 18 for Washington, 154 being necessary for a choice. It soon became evident that preparations on the scale desired could not be completed so as to open the Fair in 1892; and on April 28, 1890, a bill fixing May 1, 1893, as the date of opening received the signature of the president, and became a law. May 26, 1890, on nominations made by the governors of the several states and territories, President Harrison appointed members of a national commission which held its first session at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Chicago, June 26 to July 3, elected Hon. Thomas W. Palmer of Michigan president, and before adjournment formally accepted Jackson Park


and the Midway Plaisance, embracing 633 acres, as the site for the Exposition. The first meeting of the local board of directors of the World's Columbian Exposition was held at the Sherman House, Chicago, beginning April 12, 1890, and on the 30th, Lyman J. Gage was chosen its presi dent. He was succeeded by William T. Barker April 14. 1891, who resigned the office on account of ill health August 18.1892, and was succeeded by Mr. Harlow N. Higinbotham. Mr. Higinbotham also served during the Exposition as chairman of the council of administration, a body composed of 2 members of the board of directors of the Exposition, and 2 members of the World's Columbian commission, the latter provided for by act of congress April 25. 1890, and composed of the national commissioners appointed by the president. This council was organized for the purpose of concentrating the jurisdiction of both bodies in order to more effectually administer affairs. On September 19, 1890, Col. George R. Davis of Chicago was elected director general of the World's Columbian Exposition, and in October of the same year D. H. Burnham of Chicago was appointed chief of construction. In October, 1892, the title of Director of Works was conferred on Mr. Burnham, with enlarged duties and powers added to those he already exercised.

On November 20, 1890, was organized the board of lady managers, of which Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago was unanimously elected president. December 24, 1890, President Harrison issued a proclamation declaring that the Exposition would open May 1, 1893, and in the name of the government and people of the United States inviting all nations of the earth to participate in the commemoration of an event that is pre-eminent in human history, and of lasting interest to mankind.' Although this invitation was formally accepted by many great nations, up to July, 1891, not an inch of space had been applied for by foreign exhibitors; and to correct the general feeling of apathy which prevailed abroad, the department of foreign affairs was organized, with Walker Fearn, who visited Europe in 1884 as commissioner of the New Orleans Exposition, as chief. A special commission was dispatched to Europe, which was accompanied on its return by authorized representatives from England, Germany, and Denmark, who came to look over the ground with reference to participation. Special commissioners were also sent to China. Japan, Austria, South Africa, and South America, and the result was the awakening of a world-wide interest; the work of the department thereafter being largely to satisfactorily provide space for which application was made by cable and letter. Up to the time of the opening of the Exposition nearly 10,000 communications in many languages were received by the department, and more than 25,000 were sent; these it is noteworthy to state were mostly written in English, which naturally was adopted as the official language of the Exposition. 52 foreign powers officially participated in the Exposition, while 14 others had exhibits in the several departments or on the


Midway Plaisance. The total foreign appropriations aggregated $7,000,000: and on the opening day 500 foreign commissioners were in attendance.

The ceremony of dedication of the buildings, fixed for October 12, 1892, was changed to October 21 following, by act of congress August 4, 1892, and, as already noted, the dedicatory exercises were held in the still unfinished Manufactures aud Liberal Arts building, VicePresident Levi P. Morton representing President Harrison, and Henry Watterson of Kentucky delivering the dedicatory oration before an audience of over 100.000 people. August 5, 1892, congress by resolution extended an invitation to the king and queen of Spain and the descendants of Columbus to participate in the Exposition. In accept auce of this invitation the Duke of Veragua, a grandee of Spain and a descendant of Columbus, accompanied by the Duchess and suite, were present at the opening exercises May 1, 1893, on which occasion President Cleveland, at the conclusion of his opening address, at 12 08 P. M., touched the golden key which set in motion the machinery of the Exposition. In June the Infanta Eulalia, who represented the youthful Spanish ruler, also visited the Fair. Another distinguished arrival was that of the three Spanish caravels -reproductions of the vessels Columbus commandedsent over by Spain and which reached Chicago July 7. 1893, followed 5 days later by the Viking ship sent over from Norway.

Attendance.-A feature of the Fair was special days marked by appropriate exercises and increased attendance. The total attendance passed the 200,000 mark on 'German day,' June 15, when the German-Americans celebrated in honor of Germany's part in the Exposition, July 4. · United States day,' marked the largest attendance up to that time, being, paid admissions, 269,739 adults and 13,534 children, and 47,269 free admissions, a total of 330,542. Exercises appropriate to Independence day were held, including addresses by Vice-President Stevenson and Mayor Harrison of Chicago, and the unfurling of the Paul Jones flag. The largest attendance during the Fair was on 'Chicago day, October 9, the figures being: Paid admissions, adults. 683,742; children, 33,139, free, 45,061, making a grand total of 761,942. The admission price to the Exposition grounds was 50 cents, and the only cut rates was for the week ending Saturday, October 21, during which time all children under 18 years were admitted at 10 cents. The result was that while the total attendance of children during the 178 days the Fair was open was 1,255,554, the attendance during the six days of this holiday week was 310,444 or about one quarter of the whole; and while the average of children to adults for the remaining 25 weeks of the Fair was only 5 per cent., the paid admissions on October 19 were, adults, 240,762, to children, 65,199 or 21 per cent. The total admissions by months were as follows:

[blocks in formation]


1.128.995 7,945.430 6,052,188 27,529,400

International Congress.-A series of international congresses was arranged by the World's Congress Auxiliary, the accredited representative of the World's Columbian Exposition and the government of the United States, to be held during the Fair, beginning on the dates named below: Congress of Woman's Progress, May 15; Public Press, May 18; Medicine and Surgery, May 29; Temperance, June 5; Moral and Social Reform, June 12; Commerce and Finance, June 19; Music, July 3; Literature, July 10: Education, July 17; Art, Architecture, etc., July 31; Government, Law Reform, Political Science, etc., August 7; General Department. August 21; Labor, August 28; Religion. September 11; Sunday Rest, September 28; Public Health, October 13; Agriculture, October 16.

Financial. The sources from which funds were derived to carry on building, grading, and general preparation for the Fair were, first: A fund of over $10,000,000 in stock, raised by private subscription, divided among about 30,000 persons. Second, $5,000,000 secured by bonds issued by the city of Chicago under an act of the legislature August 5, 1890. Third, $5,000.000 secured by the sale of $2,500,000 in souvenir silver half dollars, a gift from congress. Up to April 1, 1893. $16.708.826.48, a sum equal to twice the cost of the Paris Exposition, had been expended, and of this $14,411,506.74 had gone into buildings, grading, etc. Appropriations from the various states for their buildings and exhibits, amounted to something over $6,000,000. The balance sheet of the Fair on October 31, 1893, as published by Auditor Wm. K. Ackerman, showed receipts and expenditures as follows:

Miscellaneous receipts..

$10.626.330.76 3,699,581.43 686,070.49

Gate receipts...

Concession receipts..



Souvenir coins and premium on same..


Capital stock..


City of Chicago.



[blocks in formation]


The average receipts per day exclusive of Sundays were $89,501.53, and the average expenses exclusive of Sundays were $22,405.30 daily. Up to the first of April, 1895, there had been paid back to the stockholders about 124 per cent,


of their investment; and from a business point of view as compared with all previous World's Fairs, the Columbian Exposition will ever be regarded as a marvellous success. From an educative point of view, socially, artistically, and as spreading abroad a better knowledge of American conditions and possibilities, its advantages have been inestimable.

The statistics of the principal buildings are given below: Administration building, area, 16 acres; cost. $450,000; style, French renaissance; architect, Richard M. Hunt, New York.

Agricultural and annex buildings, area, 13 acres; cost. $618.000; style, classic renaissance; architects, McKim, Meade & White, New York.

Electricity building, area, 5'5 acres; cost. $401,000; style, Corinthian: architects, Van Brunt & Howe, Kansas City.

Fine Arts building (two annexes), area, 48 acres; cost, $670,000; style, Grecian-Ionie; architect, Charles B. Atwood, Chicago, Ill.

Fisheries building (two annexes), area, 1'12 acres; cost, $224,000; style, Spanish Romanesque: architect, Henry Ives Cobb, Chicago, Ill. Government building, area, 33 acres; cost, $400,000; style, classic; architects. Windrim & Edbrooke.

Horticultural building, area, about 6 acres; cost, $300,000; style, Venetian renaissance: architect, W. L. B. Jenney, Chicago, Ill.

Machinery Hall and annex building, area, about 18 acres; cost, $1,200,000; style, renaissance of Seville; architects, Peabody & Stearns, Boston, Mass.

Manufactures and Liberal Arts building, area, 305 acres; cost, $1,500,000; style, Corinthian; architect. Geo. B. Post, New York.

Mines and Mining building, area, 55 acres: cost. $265,000; style. Italian renaissance: architect. S. S. Beman, Chicago, Ill.

Transportation and annex buildings, area, 141 acres: cost, $370,000; style, approaching Romanesque; architects, Adler & Sullivan, Chicago, Ill.

Women's building, area. 18 acres: cost. $138.000; style, Italian renaissance: architect, Miss Sophia B. Hayden, Boston, Mass.

Forestry building, area, 25 acres, cost, $100,000; style, rustic; architect, Charles B. Atwood.

Music Hall, Casino and Peristyle buildings, area, 0.14 acre; cost, $210,000; architect, Charles B. Atwood.

Live-stock Pavilion building (and sheds), area, 43.5; cost, 335,000; style, Doric; architects, Holabird & Roche, Chicago, Ill.

« ZurückWeiter »