World's Columbian Exposition: Chicago (1893)"The Life of Swami Vivekananda" by His eastern and western disciples briefly describes Swami Vivekananda’s observations & reactions at the fair:
‘ He was struck with amazement at the wonders He saw. Here all the latest products of inventive & artistic minds of the entire world had been brought to a focus, for examination & admiration.
He visited the various exposition palaces, marveling at the array of
machinery, at the arts & products of many lands, and, at the energy and practical acumen of the human mind as manifested by the exhibits. ’
Chicago had put its best foot forward to welcome Swami Vivekananda in its
own inimitable style.
Ferris Wheel: Midway Plaisance, between Ellis & University Ave. Chicago (1893)Swamiji must have visited the Midway several times ; either to talk to an Indian finger nail artist , or to take a spin on the Ferris Wheel or to visit the ‘East India Bazaar.’
The Midway Plaisance , an area surrounded by Stony Island Avenue on the east , Cottage Grove Avenue on the west , & 59th & 60th streets on the north and south respectively , offered fairgoers a chance to amuse themselves and an opportunity to see how the people in other parts of the world lived .
It was essentially a ‘Bazaar of all nations’, and ‘the exposition’s’ commercially run entertainment strip’.
The Ferris Wheel was a superb engineering feat and could carry more than 2,000 people at one time.
The world's first Ferris Wheel was erected at the center of the Midway.
Built on speculation by George W. Ferris, a bridge builder from Pittsburgh, the ride was the fair's most prominent engineering marvel. The wheel rose to 264 feet, surpassing the Eiffel Tower, and offering breathtaking views of the fair and the city.
Women's Building: Main Entrance
Women's Building: West Entrance
Women's Building: Jackson Park:
In charge of this all woman project was a Board of Lady Managers chaired by
Bertha Potter Palmer , a wealthy & influential patron of the arts.
Placing women in charge of their building was considered a rather revolutionary idea at the time and was not enthusiastically
supported by some Fair authorities.
Sophia Hayden, one of the few women architects in 19th - century America,designed the 80,000 square feet, 2 story building called the Women's Building.
Mrs. Potter Palmer, the president of the Board of Lady Managers, gave a reception for the delegates on the evening of September 14 , 1893 at the Women’s Building in Jackson Park.
Mrs. Palmer delivered an outstanding address of welcome followed by a speech by Mr. Thomas Palmer, president of the World’s
Columbian Exposition, who later hosted Swami Vivekananda in his house in Detroit in 1894.
Mrs. Potter Palmer wanted some authoritative statements about the condition of women from other lands.
Swami Vivekananda spoke on "The Condition of Women in India" at the Women's Building.
Art Palace: 57th Street & Lake Shore Drive:
The museum was built as the ‘Art Palace’ for the World‘s Columbian Exposition.
( Museum Of Science &
The Art Palace was one of the buildings from the World’s Fair that was saved.
It was universally praised as an exemplary work of art.
Designed by the New York architect Charles B. Atwood, & located on the North Bank of the North Pond, this was the only building built to last a long time housing its priceless collection of art.
It came to be known as the Atwood Palace.
It was refurbished and became the Museum of Natural History.
In 1934, the Palace of Fine Arts became the nucleus of what is now known as the Museum of Science & Industry.
Swami Vivekananda walked in this area, during the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.
Cobb Hall: 5811 S. Ellis Avenue,
The University Chapel was located in Cobb Hall, which exists on the west
side of the quadrangle on
Ellis Avenue even today, as a part of the original campus of 1892.
University of Chicago
Cobb Hall was the first building of the University of Chicago, erected with donation by Silas B. Cobb.
The University Chapel was on the 1st floor of the building taking up almost all of the north end. The room no longer exists the way it did at the time. It has been converted to four large lecture rooms, two on each side of a hall.