World's Columbian Exposition  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The World's Columbian Exposition (also called The Chicago World's Fair), a World's Fair, was held in Chicago in 1893, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. Chicago bested New York City, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, Missouri, for the honor of hosting the fair. The fair had a profound effect on architecture, the arts, Chicago's self image and American industrial optimism. The Chicago Columbian Exposition was, in large part, designed by Daniel Burnham. In essence, it was the prototype of what Burnham and his colleagues thought a city should be. It was designed to follow Beaux arts principles of design, namely, European Classical Architecture principles based on symmetry and balance.

The Exposition covered more than Template:Convert, featuring nearly 200 new buildings of European architecture, canals and lagoons, and people and cultures from around the world. Over 27 million people (about half the U.S. population) attended the Exposition over the six months it was open. Its scale and grandeur far exceeded the other world fairs of the time, and became a symbol of then-emerging American Exceptionalism, much in the same way that the The Great Exhibition became a symbol of the Victorian era United Kingdom.

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