The 1893 World's Fair--the World's Columbian Exposition, popularly nicknamed the "White City"--was held on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois.

Map by Kurz and Allison, courtesy the Library of Congress
  • On May 1, 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, opened to the public. The fair took place in Chicago, Illinois, in part because the city was a major railroad center. As a railroad center, Chicago was very accessible for the 25.8 million people who attended the six-month fair. Railroads also made it easier for supplies to be brought to the event. In addition to transportation, the city wanted to showcase its landscape. There had been much reconstruction since the "Great Chicago Fire" in 1871.
    The World's Columbian Exposition was a massive event. Urban planner Daniel Burnham, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and architect Louis Sullivan oversaw the fair, nicknamed the "White City" for its neoclassical design. Spreading over 278 hectares (686 acres), this fair was a huge cultural and economic event. It was the first American international exposition to close with a profit. The fair also introduced both the Ferris wheel and the widespread use of electricity.
    World fairs showcase cultures, products, inventions, and locations. The next world's fair will be held in Milan, Italy, in 2015.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    accessible Adjective

    relatively easy to approach, use, or obtain.

    Great Chicago Fire Noun

    (1871) urban disaster that killed hundreds and destroyed almost all of downtown Chicago, Illinois.

    landscape Noun

    the geographic features of a region.

    Encyclopedic Entry: landscape
    landscape architect Noun

    person who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of open spaces such as gardens.

    massive Adjective

    very large or heavy.

    public Noun

    people of a community.

    railroad Noun

    road constructed with metal tracks on which trains travel.

    transportation Noun

    movement of people or goods from one place to another.

    urban planner Noun

    person who works to create or improve the natural, built, economic, and social environments of urban areas.