World's Columbian Exposition - Chicago 1893

400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492

May 1, 1893 - October 30, 1893


This exhibition was intended to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.
In 1890, the city of Chicago chose Jackson Park, which covered a total of 290 hectares of swampy land, as the location for the exhibition.

The landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstedt was in charge of the reclamation of the land and took full advantage of the initial characteristics of the land to put water at the centre of the exhibition by creating lakes, canals and water features....

All the halls and other buildings of the exhibition were white and overloaded with ornaments, statues... to follow the neoclassical style dictated by France at the 1889 exhibition. These halls housed 70,000 exhibitors from all over the world.

But the most significant aspect of the exhibition was undoubtedly "Midway Plaisance", which was the world's first theme park concept and paved the way for other parks such as Disneyland.

Despite the delay in the construction of the exhibition, the inauguration of which was postponed for a year, and despite the disasters that occurred: the assassination of the mayor of Chicago causing the cancellation of the closing ceremony, a fire in which firemen lost their lives, the death of workers during the construction... this exhibition was a real success.