Bird's-Eye View of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893


The Chicago world’s fair, or the World’s Columbian Exposition as it was officially called, was held in 1893 to mark the 400th anniversary, the previous year, of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The fair marked Chicago’s coming of age as a national and world city, a mere 60 years after the city’s founding and just 22 years after the great Chicago fire of 1871. This map, produced by the Chicago-based Rand McNally and Company, shows the design of the exposition, which was mainly the work of architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham (1846–1912) and landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead (1822–1903). The map shows the location of the fair’s main attractions, which included pavilions sponsored by 46 countries, the first national pavilions at a world’s fair. U.S. states also sponsored pavilions, as did, jointly, the territories of Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. One of the main attractions was the 264-foot (80.4-meter) Ferris Wheel (also referred to as the Chicago Wheel), which was designed and constructed for the fair by Pittsburgh bridge builder George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. The wheel can be seen near the horizon at the top of the map.

Last updated: May 24, 2017