Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Mecca Flat Blues


MeccaGot the Mecca flat blues and somebody’s goin’ to pay.

Harper’s Magazine called Bronzeville’s Mecca Flats building “The Strangest Place in Chicago.” With a history stretching back to the 1893 World’s Fair, it inspired a 1920s blues classic and poet …

The White City Then and Now


Postcard 1Due to a host of scheduling issues, it took months for me to finally go to The White City Then and Now tour at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. There was only one tour per month. I was …

The Columbian Exposition Exhibition Gift Shop


TicketLike any good tourist trap, the Field Museum’s exhibit “Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair” culminates in the gift shop. It is an apt finale. A subtext of commerce runs through the show.

The theme is not …

Exhibition Accomodations


WitFairThe Field Museum (1400 S Lake Shore Drive) is Opening the Vaults to the Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair. It will display rare and unseen items from its collection from October 25, 2013 through September 7, 2014. Several hotel …

Siam: The Queen and The White City


banners_2039d294dc0714cea9109712709f7784The Chicago History Museum celebrates the 120th anniversary of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition with Siam: The Queen and the White City. The exhibition honors Queen Savang Vadhana and her contributions in organizing her country’s displays for the fair’s Woman’s …

The Masonic Steampunk Connection


wahingtonmasonWith the Congress of Steam coming up at Teslacon October 31 – November 3, the time is right for shifting alliances and smoky backroom plotting. What better way to get a jump on the clandestine machinations than to join a …

Happy Shovel Day!


shovel_day_0817On September 3, 1892, President Frank Wenter of the Board of Trustees of the Sanitary District dug the first shovelful of the Sanitary and Ship Canal. He broke ground for an architectural marvel: the reversal of the Chicago River.…

Their House Is a Museum


Clarke600A house with a solid foundation provides a sense of continuity, metaphorically as well as structurally. The legacy of the Prairie School and Arts and Crafts movements in Chicago can be seen on a number of architectural tours, but there …

The Eastland Disaster


EastlandThis year saw the 98th anniversary of the Eastland disaster. On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland sank in the Chicago River, taking with it 848 lives.

The tragedy owes something to the sinking of the Titanic. After the …

Chicago by Day and Night



Chicago Publishers Thomson and Zimmerman released Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America as companion to visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. It combines boosterism, a dash of morality and a …