Exhibits and Attractions
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THE CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR OF 1933
Follow along from the North Entrance at
the bottom right of the panoramic picture, south down the Avenue
of Flags, east across the Science Bridge to tour Northerly Island,
then back across the 23rd Street Bridge, and south along the Midway
to the Transportation exhibits near the south end of the fairgrounds.
Avenue of Flags
We shall suppose that the visitor has acquainted himself, in a general way, with the location of the park in which the Century of Progress Exposition has been built. This is a highly interesting bit of land, a space of 424 acres, rescued from the lake since the Columbian Exposition of 1893. We shall suppose further that the visitor is entering the grounds at the northern gate, just east of the Field Museum, and that he walks south along that portion of Leif Ericson drive which is now known as the Avenue of Flags.
The Administration building, headquarters of the Exposition, can be said to strike the keynote of the entire architectural plan. Ultramodern in design, it was here that far-reaching experiments were made in unusual lighting and color effects, and in choice of construction plans and materials. The Administration building stands to the left after you enter the North Entrance, an E-shaped structure clothed in ultra-marine blue, and yellow, with an entrance of silver.
On the Avenue of Flags the silver and gold Illinois Host building offers its welcome to all the world. Its 70-foot tower surmounts a structure arranged for the specific purpose of hospitality.
The Basic Sciences
At the southern end of the Avenue of Flags is the Hall of Science, designed by Paul Cret. Mr. Cret's problem was to build a structure which would lie directly across the Leif Ericson drive and extend down to the edge of the water in the lagoon. This problem he solved by making the northern front a graceful circular arc of high pylons extending a welcome to each approaching visitor. The rest of the building is in the shape of a U with the arms of the U extending to the water's edge and enclosing a court of 3 acres.
General Exhibits Building
Just below the Hall of Science is the General Exhibits Group, devoted entirely to industries. In its five pavilions appear as wide a variety of products as could be imagined. Many are shown in the making, all displayed in unusual ways.
The Bendix Lama Temple
The Golden Pavilion, the original of which was built in 1767 at Jehol, summer home of the Manchu emperors, was brought to the 1933 World's Fair by Vincent Bendix, expostion trustee. Dr. Sven Hedin, noted Swedish explorer, selected this as the finest existing example of Chinese Lama Architecture.
Exact reproductions of the 28,000 pieces of which the Temple is composed were made and numbered at its original site in China. A Chinese architect was employed to direct their assembly on the exposition grounds. Chinese artists painted and decorated the finished structure.
The Towering Skyride
Two towers stand 1,850 apart--support of the spectacular Skyride, great thrill feature of A Century of Progress. They are higher than any building in Chicago. Six hundred and twenty-eight feet they rise into the skies, with observation floors atop them. On a 200-foot level the rocket cars offer you a beautifrul and thrilling ride across the lagoon, suspended from a cableway.
The United States Government and the States
The Federal Building stands on Northerly island. Above its gold dome three pylons, fluted towers 150 feet high, typify the three branches of United States Government--legislative, executive and judicial.
At its back, and in V-shape seeming to embrace it, is the States Building, with its Court of States, thus typifying the increased feeling of loyalty of the citizens to the Union.
The Drama of Agriculture
For centuries, men farmed mainly as their fathers had farmed before them. In the last 75 years, a great change has come. It is depicted in a dramatic way in the Agricultural group. Throughout this group you see the story of foods, their production, and preservation, and their distribution told by dioramas, moving models, and actual processes.
The Dairy Building and the Color Organ
You enter into a large lobby. Beyond is a cyclorama on which streams of color
play. At an organ console, a player's hands finger the keyboard, causing the
variations of color. The instrument is the Clavilux, or color organ. With the "color
music" for accmpaniment, a spectacle is presented showing the bringing of
the first cows to the Plymouth colony, the trek of civilizations westward,
and today's organized dairy industry.
The Servant That Has Transformed The World
This is the court of the Electrical building. In the court a fountain sends up iridescent jets of illuminated water in a series of multi-colored steps. The building itself, in semi-circular form behind the court, connects with the Radio and Communication building. A group of pylons rises, with a giant bas-relief panel on either side, on which figures are sculptured in mammoth size. One represents Atomic Energy. The other panel symbolizes Stellar Energy. There is an entrance here, which leads to a great circular hall.
Another entrance is on the west side from a water gateway, flanked by two huge pylons. On these pylons also are sculpted figures, Light on the north pylon, Sound on the south one.
Marvels of Lighting
Should you gasp with amazement as, with the coming of night, millions of lights flash skyward a symphony of Illumination, reflect again that it is progress speaking with exultant voice of up-to the-second advancement. Science has achieved a brilliance and skill of electric lighting which, as exemplified in the buildings of the Fair, render windows and skylights no longer a necessity in buildings. Within the buildings are borrowings from the future in inverted lighting, shaded arrangements, color effects, and without, a fairyland of lighting effect on greater scale and in more numerous arrangements than the world has ever seen.
The Children's World's Fair
Five acres of land is set aside for children--and for grownups, too, who still can feel the thrill of make believe. The Enchanted Island lies between the lagoon and the lake, and from it rises a towering mountain. About it are giants, and through the area move guards and other employees as out of Fairyland, dressed appropriately for their parts.
The youngsters can slide down the mountain side, and there's a fairy castle, a mechanical zoo, a miniature railroad, a marionette show, a theater. There are trained attendants who will amuse the children while their parents go away to other parts of the Fair.
The Great Havoline Thermometer
A great 200-foot tower can be seen from many sections of the Fair and the
numerals on its three faces can be easily read. It is a thermometer, perhaps
the largest the world has ever seen. The numerals are ten feet high, and the
graduated temperature columns are made of neon tubing, electrically regulated
by a master thermometer. The Indian Refining Company dedicated it as a "Monument
to Chicago's Climate." In a building at the base of the tower the company
presents an exhibit of oil refining equipment and products.
The Belgian Village
The houses and buildings are exact reproductions of those seen by the tourist in Belgium today-- cafes, typical mediaeval homes, a fish market, an old church and a town hall. The village is inhabited by craftsmen in the costumes of hundreds of years ago. Ancient folk dances are a feature of the main square. Typical Belgian milk carts drawn by dogs and driven by merry milkmaids add to the picturesqueness of the village.
The Midway--City of a Million Lights--revives memories of the Fair of '93. Visit it by day, and you may think of brilliant bands of color connecting two great sections of the Fair; at night, you might think of a gorgeous scintillating trinket. Ride the breath-taking roller coaster. Play the games. Visit the place where daring youths dive into tanks and wrestle with alligators. Enter here where beauties of the Orient dance to strange tunes. See the "apotheosis of America's womanly pulchritude," the "living wonders," and other "freaks" from the four corners of the earth.
Turn aside to visit the Midget Village, where sixty Lilliputians live in their tiny houses, serve you with food, and entertain you with theatrical performances. See the strange reptiles. And here's the Dance Ship with two dance floors and two orchestras. See the Pantheon de la Guerre, largest war picture in the world.
The Drama of Old Fort Dearborn
Go south beyond the Midway, and step within a log stockade. This is Old Fort Dearborn, faithfully reproduced in every detail, constructed even as toiling men built the first Fort Dearborn in 1803. As you enter the massive log gate leading into the stockaded inclosure uou see a quadrangular parade ground. Double rows of log palisades, ten feet and five feet in height, are so arranged as to permit the fort's blockhouses to command the terrain outside, and the inner space bettween the palisades. Here are the soldiers' quarters and those of the officers. On the east side are the commanding officer's quarters, next to them the supplies building, then the powder magazine.
The Life and Lore of Lincoln
By Old Fort Dearborn stands another stockade of logs, in which are five buildings, each marks an epoch in the upward struggle of Abraham Lincoln. Here is the tiny, one-room cabin near Hodgenville, Ky., where he was born. Then the second larger home on Pigeon Creek in Indiana. Then the little general store in Salem, Ill. and the Rutledge tavern, where he wooed Ann Rutledge, only to suffer greatly when she died of pneumonia. Lastly, the Wigwam, where Lincoln emerged as a candidate for the Presidency.
From Wagons to Wings
Just south of Thirty-first street, on the lake side, you may watch the dramatization of this century of progress in transportation. When you have viewed this panorama of transportation, you will want to cross Leif Eriksen drive to the Travel and Transport building and enter its dome.
For the first time in architectural history a dome has been constructed on the principle of a suspension bridge. The dome of the Travel and Transport building is suspended 125 feet above the ground by cables attached to twelve steel towers. The reason for the daring use of this suspension principle was the necessity for a clear, unobstructed space for exhibits.
South of the Travel and Transport building, is an outdoor area for exhibits. A glass tower of the Nash Motors is a spectacular feature of the outdoor exhibit. The part that automotive engineering has played in our civilization is graphically represented in the General Motors building. The central feature of the building is a complete automobile assembly plant. Just north of the Travel and Transport building is the Chrysler building.