Columbian Fair 1893

Grand Basin of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition

Chicago hosted a fair celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. Over 100,000 people attended the opening. The most popular attraction was the ferris wheel.


The Chicago World’s Fair also known as the Columbian Exposition was held to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus landing in North America. It was also held to showcase that the city of Chicago was back. It had recovered from the devastating fire. Business and community leaders took part in organizing the fair.

The fair was held on 600 acres of land and included 200 new buildings. Some of the major architects of the time were involved in designing the buildings that were designed in a neoclassic style, and were almost all white. The most important buildings were built around a central lake.

The following were the major buildings:
The Administration Building, designed by Richard Morris Hunt
The Agricultural Building, designed by Charles McKim of McKim, Mead & White
The Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, designed by George B. Post. If this building were standing today, it would rank second in volume and third in footprint on list of largest buildings (130,000m2, 8,500,000m3).[21] It exhibited works related to literature, science, art and music.
The Mines and Mining Building, designed by Solon Spencer Beman
The Electricity Building, designed by Henry Van Brunt and Frank Maynard Howe
The Machinery Hall, designed by Robert Swain Peabody of Peabody and Stearns
The Woman's Building, designed by Sophia Hayden
The Transportation Building, designed by Adler & Sullivan
The Fisheries Building designed by Henry Ives Cobb[42]
Forestry Building designed by Charles B. Atwood
Horticultural Building designed by Jenney and Mundie
Anthropology Building designed by Charles B. Atwood

In addition 46 countries had their own building as did many of the largest companies. The fair was the first fair to have a separate amusement section with amusement rides including a giant ferris wheel. Other attraction included reproduction of Columbus ships and the John Bull railroad locomotive. . It was the largest world fair in history. It opened its doors to the public on May 1, 1893 and by the time it closed on October 30th 27,300,000 visitors had attended the fair.