The Vanishing Fair and the Enduring Home
This chapter begins with two Chicago vignettes to frame the discussion to come. The first is an account of public responses to the end of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in the months after it closed for good. Alternately used as a space for homeless “tramps,” souvenir hunters, and incipient preservationists, the fairgrounds exerted a powerful emotional hold on the many tourists who visited it. Next, the chapter introduces James and Helen Charnley as they moved into their new Louis Sullivan- and Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home on the Gold Coast—a startlingly modern home from 1892 that looked nothing like the elaborate Victorian mansions that surrounded it. Finally, the chapter introduces the Chicago Fair as we consider it today: a watershed moment in the development of modern, industrial American society that invites further investigation to understand the myriad social and cultural processes still part of American urban experiences today.
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