Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chicago World Fair and the Gilded Age

One of the many aspects of the Chicago experience with the World Fair that reflects the Gilded Age transformation is the new buildings that make up the World Fair. These buildings were drawn and created by some of the best architects in the 19th century and they express the style of that time. As the 1890s was the industrial revolution, these new buildings are consistent with that revolution of new buildings. After the great fire in Chicago, there was room to rebuild and if the fire hadn't occurred, then some of the great building that were build would never have been built and some of the great architects wouldn't have made their way up in the business and gained such success. The buildings specifically in the World Fair were constructed to be even greater and more beautiful than the Paris Exposition.

Many building were constructed in the Gilded Age that had never been attempted, this included the new idea of skyscrapers native to Chicago. The city was covered in these large building, each one taller than the other and soon skyscrapers were in other major cities like New York. The buildings in this time period were made of steel frames and large glass plates. The style native to Chicago was developed by Louis Sullivan as Chicago School style architecture. Most buildings were built the same way and a lot of them were difficult to build because of the soft Chicago ground which they were built on, but this left room for builders and architects to come up with new methods of creating stable buildings that could be as tall and heavy as they wanted. These buildings were made by the laborers who worked long hours and sometimes went on strike because of how much they worked didn't yield enough pay, but these workers represented the various people in the working and lower classes of the Gilded Age when sometimes the only jobs available were in construction. The infrastructure of the Worlds Fair correlates perfectly with the Gilded Age life much like other aspects. This specific aspect represents the transformation in the Gilded Age because of how much cities were changing, especially Chicago around the time of the World Fair.

No comments:

Post a Comment