It had itself risen from the shapelessness of a reclaimed swamp, and did return to a jumble of ruins after the fires that burned down the buildings in White uniformity became central in the expression of this measured ideal. Order also meant a certain neutralization, a purification of the general design from all uncomely elements. The weary, lost or stunned visitors were indeed expunged from the pictures of the court of Honour that almost unanimously presented vast, empty spaces, showing none but a few well-dressed, upper-class figures.
Contrasts were most efficient, symmetry most striking at night, when darkness erased details and simplified the architectural landscape. Thus darkness provided the privileged setting for the edifying spectacle White City was to impress on visitors. The "Columbian Exposition", sister to the "Centennial Exposition" of in Philadelphia, was meant to honor the achievements of the New Continent since its discovery by Christopher Columbus.
Behind the Fair was the optimistic, evolutionist-based view that the United States was the leading civilization of the world, a view expressed for instance in the ordinance of the exhibits on the Midway Plaisance, starting with the Dahomian "savages" and culminating with the German and Irish villages, representing the highest "civilizations" after the American one on the globe.
White City Wordsmiths
White City was construed, taking the words the Founding Father John Winthrop used in his sermon on the Arbella, as a new "City upon the Hill", 3 a light bestowed on the rest of the world. Imre Kiralfy, a Hungarian-born show businessman who specialized in electric pageants, grasped the importance of the event when he created two patriotic spectacles, America and Colombus for the occasion. Flyers for the spectacles would advertise their "silent splendor", a term recurrent in the descriptions of the illuminated White City at night.
An essential part of the display in the Fair as well, electricity gave the European-inspired architecture of the Court of Honour an American aura. The Fair, considered as an electrical exposition only, would be well worthy the attention of the world. Look from a distance at night, upon the broad spaces it fills, and the majestic sweep of the searching lights, and it is as if the earth and sky were transformed by the immeasurable wands of colossal magicians; and the superb dome of the structure, that is the central jewel of the display, is glowing as if bound with wreaths of stars.
It is electricity! When the whole casket is illuminated, the cornices of the palaces of the White City are defined with celestial fire. The waters that are at play leap and flash with it. There are borders of lamps around the Lagoon. The spectacle is more resplendent than the capitals of Europe ever saw when ablaze with festivals to celebrate triumphant peace or victorious war. It is all an electrical exhibit. Halstead Little mention was made of the practical, industrial or even military power electricity could yield.
Five years after the Fair, the "wands" of searchlights became a powerful weapon of dissuasion in the Spanish-American war, when Americans prevented their enemies from leaving the harbor of Santiago de Cuba at night by pointing their beams on the Spanish fleet. Yet this aspect of the show remains understated in the commentaries of the fair-goers. For the latter, electric light was a sublimating and transcending force, transforming the money of the Chicago millionaires who financed the fair into luminous, beautiful power. It made American civilization eminently visible while idealizing its productions.
Asserting its superiority by electrical power, White City still presented itself as detached from baser motives, a city so ideal that its resemblance to turn-of-the-century America seemed sometimes lost: "the illusion of Altruria was very vivid at many moments in the Fair City, where I have spent the happiest days of my stay in America, perhaps because the place is so little American in the accepted sense" Howells Here again, his reflections arc spurred by the vision of the city at night: "For the moment I could not believe that so foul a thing as money could have been even the means of its creation" Howells Dialoguing with a Bostonian he met on the grounds, Homos starts exposing "his views":.
There is no competition among you a moment longer than you can help, a moment after one proves himself stronger than another. Then you have monopoly, which even upon the limited scale it exists here is the only vital and fruitful principle, as you all see. And yet you are afraid to have it upon the largest possible scale, the national scale, the scale commensurate with the whole body politic, which implicates care for every citizen as the liege of the collectivity. When you have monopoly of such proportions money will cease to have any office among you, and such a beautiful creation as this will have effect from a consensus of the common wills and wishes.
Howells The motto of the Congresses held during the Fair reflects this antimaterialism: "Not matter, but Mind, not Things, but Men". From its conception onwards, White City was to be a little more or less than the everyday. Henry Van Brunt, one of the main architects of the Fair, advocated a "symmetry" in the exhibits:. It is necessary that the Columbian Exposition should not only bring together evidences of the amazing productiveness which, within the century, has effected a complete transformation in the external aspects of life, but should force into equal prominence, if possible, corresponding evidences that the finer instincts of humanity have not suffered complete eclipse in this grosser prosperity It is the high function of architecture not only to adorn this triumph of materialism, but to condone, explain and supplement it, so that some elements of 'sweetness and light' may be brought forward to counterbalance the boastful Philistinism of our times.
Van Brunt In contrasting the external grandeur of White City with the more mundane interests it sheltered, the Fair again cultivated contradiction. Night was traditionally seen as the moment when labour and commercial activities cease and men can devote themselves to "higher" pursuits.
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Thus darkness dissociated White City from the everyday and down-to-earth. Both seem indeed to be immaterial and evasive to the point of illusion. Under the electric lights, White City was recurrently called a "miracle", a "vision", a "dream city". A year after the Fair closed, the buildings in Jackson park were destroyed by fire, an event which renewed interest in White City and spurred a series of eulogistic creations. Among those was H. It has vanished like castles Fancy buildeth in the air But not we like weeping vassals Wring our hands in mute despair.
Van Meter IX. But this insistence on the ideality of White City had its trade-off, making it lose its substance. White City was so vaporous that it had, in the end, more reality as a vision than as a real city, becoming a veritable cosa mentale :. Flow many eyes still see its snowy domes and turrets against the sky of blue, as real now as they ever seemed when the flags were flying and the pennants waving! For the city must have existed first as only a dream of beauty was realized, and then, before fire and wind destroyed it, was translated into a million dreams, to be cherished until the dreamers pass away.
Robinson The fairgoers were dreaming with their eyes wide open, enjoying it precisely because it was presented as a dream. The whiteness of the buildings, their monstrous scale, and of course the electric lighting of the Court of Honour were then part of a self-conscious display, contributing to the artificiality of the spectacle. The "magic wands" of electric searchlights were appreciated as such, in as much as the fairgoers deliberately suspended their disbelief when entering Jackson Park.
The Emerald city is really a White City seen through green glasses, an illusion only an innocent child like Dorothy would not perceive. Like White City, it is a brilliant spectacle and Baum fully exploited the ambivalent meaning of the word. Even those who live in the City must wear spectacles night and day". Many shops stood in the street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy and green pop corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green hats, and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that they paid for it with green pennies There seemed to be no horses nor animals of any kind; the men carried things around in little green carts, which they pushed before them.
Everyone seemed happy and contented and prosperous. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , chap. In the case of White City, the incommensurable height of the white domes is their very charm, while electric lighting making them recede into further inaccessibility but dematerializing it:. When thou touchest me my most delicate charm will pass away. More than anything, as the epithet soon given to the Court of Honour shows us, it is the whiteness of the White City to which visitors were attracted. This material was found in a combination of plaster and jute fibre, called staff, which combines adaptability to all forms of plastic handling with a stiffness and toughness almost like wood.
This stuff has made possible effects of construction which could never have been attempted under the same conditions with any other material. It is prepared as quickly as water and plaster and fibre can be mixed together; it may be made coarse or fine, rough or smooth in surface as may be desired; it may be cast or molded; it may be colored; and when it is dry and ready for use it is handled almost exactly like wood-bored, sawed, and nailed. This, then, is the wash in which the great sketch of the White City is executed. It takes every form that is necessary to clothe and ornament the iron skeletons; it suggests rather than simulates stone, and, considered for itself as a building material, it has certain agreeable qualities of brightness and softness.
Yet this quickly produced, highly plastic ersatz also flagrantly appears as the typical product of turn-of-the-century industrialized America. Consumers in the United States were getting accustomed to a world where commodities were produced outside the home and distributed on a large scale by "invisible" forces. Shifting from a rural, self-sufficient and frugal economy to an urban, incorporated and plentiful way of life, Americans were discovering an environment at once more materialistic and more elusive than what they had experienced in the past.
She reached for his hand. There would be no pain, he assured her. She would awaken as healthy as she was now but without the encumbrance she bore within. He pulled the stopper from a dark amber bottle of liquid and immediately felt its silvery exhalation in his own nostrils. He poured the chloroform into a bunched cloth. She gripped his hand more tightly, which he found singularly arousing.
He held the cloth over her nose and mouth. Her eyes fluttered and rolled upward. Then came the inevitable, reflexive disturbance of muscles, like a dream of running. She released his hand and cast it away with splayed fingers. Her feet trembled as if tapping to a wildly beating drum. His own excitement rose. She tried to pull his hand away, but he was prepared for this sudden surge of muscle stimulation that always preceded stupor, and with great force clamped the cloth to her face.
She beat at his arms. Slowly the energy left her, and her hands began to move in slow arcs, soothing and sensuous, the wild drums silent. Ballet now, a pastoral exit. He kept one hand on the cloth and with the other dribbled more of the liquid between his fingers into its folds, delighting in the sensation of frost where the chloroform coated his fingers. One of her wrists sagged to the table, followed shortly by the other. Her eyelids stuttered, then closed. Holmes did not think her so clever as to feign coma, but he held tight just the same. After a few moments he reached for her wrist and felt her pulse fade to nothing, like the rumble of a receding train.
He removed the apron and rolled down his sleeves. The chloroform and his own intense arousal made him feel light-headed. The sensation, as always, was pleasant and induced in him a warm languor, like the feeling he got after sitting too long in front of a hot stove. It took only a moment to bunch the fresh cloth and douse it with chloroform. In the hall, afterward, he examined his watch and saw that it was Christmas. The day meant nothing to Holmes. The Christmas mornings of his youth had been suffocated under an excess of piety, prayer, and silence, as if a giant wool blanket had settled over the house.
The apartment was warm, the air rouged with cinnamon and fir. An hour passed. They left the apartment unlocked, with a cheerful note of welcome. They asked neighbors inside and outside the building if any had seen Julia or Pearl, but none had. When Holmes next appeared, Mrs. Crowe asked him where Julia might be.
He explained that she and Pearl had gone to Davenport earlier than expected. Crowe heard nothing more from Julia. She and her neighbors thought the whole thing very odd. They all agreed that the last time anyone had seen Julia or Pearl was Christmas Eve. This was not precisely accurate. Others did see Julia again, although by then no one, not even her own family back in Davenport, Iowa, could have been expected to recognize her. Just after Christmas Holmes asked one of his associates, Charles Chappell, to come to his building. He had acquired the necessary techniques while articulating cadavers for medical students at Cook County Hospital.
During his own medical education Holmes had seen firsthand how desperate schools were to acquire corpses, whether freshly dead or skeletonized. The serious, systematic study of medicine was intensifying, and to scientists the human body was like the polar icecap, something to be studied and explored.
With demand outpacing supply, doctors established a custom of graciously and discreetly accepting any offered cadaver. They frowned on murder as a means of harvest; on the other hand, they made little effort to explore the provenance of any one body. Grave-robbing became an industry, albeit a small one requiring an exceptional degree of sang-froid.
In periods of acute shortage doctors themselves helped mine the newly departed. It was obvious to Holmes that even now, in the s, demand remained high. They attempted to rob a grave at the State Asylum for the Insane in Anchorage, Kentucky, this time on behalf of the University of Louisville. The winter classes were large and used up so many subjects that there are none for the spring classes. I tell you we must have bodies. You cannot make doctors without them, and the public must understand it.
Holmes had an eye for opportunity, and with demand for corpses so robust, opportunity now beckoned. He showed Charles Chappell into a second-floor room that contained a table, medical instruments, and bottles of solvents. These did not trouble Chappell, nor did the corpse on the table, for Chappell knew that Holmes was a physician. The body was clearly that of a woman, although of unusual height.
He saw nothing to indicate her identity. In some places considerable of the flesh had been taken off with it. Holmes explained that he had been doing some dissection but now had completed his research. He offered Chappell thirty-six dollars to cleanse the bones and skull and return to him a fully articulated skeleton.
Chappell agreed. Holmes and Chappell placed the body in a trunk lined with duckcloth. Soon afterward Chappell returned with the skeleton. Holmes thanked him, paid him, and promptly sold the skeleton to Hahneman Medical College—the Chicago school, not the Philadelphia school of the same name—for many times the amount he had paid Chappell. The place looked and felt as if the former occupants planned to return within minutes. There was no need to pack up their belongings, as Julia and Pearl were well provided for and would not be coming back.
At this time she had announced not only to me, but to her neighbors and friends, that she was going away. Despite the weather, work at Jackson Park progressed. Workers erected a heated movable shelter that allowed them to apply staff to the exterior of the Mines Building no matter what the temperature. In all, the workforce in the park numbered four thousand. The ranks included a carpenter and furniture-maker named Elias Disney, who in coming years would tell many stories about the construction of this magical realm beside the lake.
His son Walt would take note. Wage reductions and layoffs stoked unrest among workers nationwide. Unions gained strength; the Pinkerton National Detective Agency gained revenue.
Burnham ordered his construction superintendent, Dion Geraldine, to investigate. As labor strife increased and the economy faltered, the general level of violence rose. In taking stock of , the Chicago Tribune reported that 5, people had been murdered in America, nearly 40 percent more than in The increase included Mr. Borden of Fall River, Massachusetts. The constant threat of strike and the onset of deep cold shaded the new year for Burnham, but what most concerned him was the fast-shrinking treasury of the Exposition Company.
On January 6 Burnham commanded his department chiefs to take immediate, in some cases draconian, measures to cut costs. Until this point Burnham had shown a level of compassion for his workers that was extraordinary for the time. He had paid them even when illness or injury kept them out of work and established an exposition hospital that provided free medical care. He built quarters within the park where they received three large meals a day and slept in clean beds and well-heated rooms.
But now even the fair was laying off men, and the timing was awful. With the advent of winter the traditional building season had come to an end. The dismissed men, Burnham knew, faced homelessness and poverty; their families confronted the real prospect of starvation. The absence of an Eiffel challenger continued to frustrate Burnham. Proposals got more and more bizarre. One visionary put forth a tower five hundred feet taller than the Eiffel Tower but made entirely of logs, with a cabin at the top for shelter and refreshment.
The cabin was to be a log cabin. If an engineer capable of besting Eiffel did not step forward soon, Burnham knew, there simply would not be enough time left to build anything worthy of the fair. Somehow he needed to rouse the engineers of America. The opportunity came with an invitation to give a talk to the Saturday Afternoon Club, a group of engineers who had begun meeting on Saturdays at a downtown restaurant to discuss the construction challenges of the fair.
There was the usual meal in multiple courses, with wine, cigars, coffee, and cognac. He had an angular face, black hair, a black mustache, and dark eyes, the kind of looks soon to be coveted by an industry that Thomas Edison was just then bringing to life. Like the other members of the Saturday Afternoon Club, he expected to hear Burnham discuss the challenges of building an entire city on such a short schedule, but Burnham surprised him.
But not a tower, he said. Towers were not original. Eiffel had built a tower already. Some of the engineers took offense; others acknowledged that Burnham had a point. He could see it and touch it, hear it as it moved through the sky. And if what happened to Eiffel happened to him, his fortune would be assured. This constant Victorian minuet of false grace consumed time. He needed more power—not for his own ego but for the sake of the exposition. Unless the pace of decision-making accelerated, he knew, the fair would fall irreparably behind schedule, yet if anything the barriers to efficiency were increasing in size and number.
Soon the struggle for control distilled to a personal conflict between Burnham and Davis, its primary battlefield a disagreement over who should control the artistic design of exhibits and interiors. Burnham thought it obvious that the territory belonged to him. Davis believed otherwise. At first Burnham tried the oblique approach. I feel a delicacy in having my men suggest to yours artistic arrangements, forms and decorations of exhibits, without your full approval, which I hereby respectfully ask.
The conflict simmered. An uncharacteristic weariness crept into his letter. What a rush this life is! Where do the years go to? There were moments of grace. Burnham treasured the camaraderie and the stories. Olmsted recounted the endless trials of protecting Central Park from ill-thought modifications. Late in March Burnham invited his sons to join him at the shanty for one of their periodic overnight stays.
They failed to arrive at the scheduled time. He knew as well as anyone that train wrecks in Chicago were nearly a daily occurrence. Darkness began to fall, but at last the boys arrived. Paul line. Rice tell some yarns about the war and life in the plains among the scouts and Indians. As Burnham wrote this letter, his sons were near at hand. Arnold also was present, and soon the children were to join him in a sketching session.
The conflict between Burnham and Davis again flared to life. Burnham and President Baker expected a general review but instead found themselves grilled about the most mundane expenses. For example, when Baker listed the total spent on carriage rental, the subcommittee demanded the names of the people who rode in the carriages. At one session in Chicago the committee asked Davis to estimate the final cost of the exposition. Without consulting Burnham, Davis gave an estimate ten percent below the amount Burnham had calculated for President Baker, which Baker had then included in his own statement to investigators.
Burnham leaped to his feet. The subcommittee chairman ordered him to sit. Burnham remained standing. He was angry, barely able to keep himself composed. He knows nothing about the matter. His outburst offended the subcommittee chairman. Burnham withdraw his remark.
At first Burnham refused. Then, reluctantly, he agreed to withdraw the part about Davis knowing nothing. But only that part. He did not apologize.
The committee left for Washington to study the evidence and report on whether an appropriation was warranted. We gave them each a huge pile of data to digest, and I think their report will be funny, because I know that months would not be enough time for me to work out a report, even with my knowledge. Professor Putnam had believed the Midway ought first and foremost to provide an education about alien cultures.
Sol Bloom felt no such duty. The Midway was to be fun, a great pleasure garden stretching for more than a mile from Jackson Park all the way to the border of Washington Park. It would thrill, titillate, and if all went well perhaps even shock. There would be authentic villages from far-off lands inhabited by authentic villagers—even Pygmies, if Lieutenant Schufeldt succeeded. Bloom recognized also that as czar of the Midway he no longer had to worry about seeking a concession for his Algerian Village.
He could approve the village himself. He produced a contract and sent it off to Paris. At one point he was called upon to help make reporters understand how truly immense the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building would be. Bloom had no idea whether Russia even had a standing army, let alone how many soldiers it might include and how many square feet they would cover. Nonetheless, the fact became gospel throughout America. The needle, one of large nineteenth-century bore—like having a garden hose shoved into a bicep—invariably deposited a yellow aureole on the skin surrounding the injection site, a badge for some, an unsightly blemish for others.
The rest of the formula was kept secret, but as best doctors and chemists could tell, the solution included substances that imparted a pleasant state of euphoria and sedation trimmed with amnesia—an effect the Chicago post office found problematic, for each year it wound up holding hundreds of letters sent from Dwight that lacked important elements of their destination addresses. The senders simply forgot that things like names and street numbers were necessary for the successful delivery of mail. Pitezel had long been a heavy drinker, but his drinking must have become debilitating, for it was Holmes who sent him to Keeley and paid for his treatment.
As always, he had other motives. Later, indeed, Holmes would establish his own curative spa on the second floor of his Englewood building and call it the Silver Ash Institute. The Keeley cure was amazingly popular. Thousands of people came to Dwight to shed their intemperate ways; many thousands more bought Dr. Women received theirs in their own rooms and were kept separated from the men to protect their reputations. Pitezel returned to Englewood in April. She was blond, twenty-four years old, and since had worked as a stenographer in Dr. Emeline accepted without hesitation. The institute had a certain cachet, but the village of Dwight was no Chicago.
She was indeed lovely, with luminous blond hair. Immediately Holmes deployed his tools of seduction, his soothing voice and touch and frank blue gaze. He bought her flowers and took her to the Timmerman Opera House down the block. He gave her a bicycle. They spent evenings riding together on the smooth macadam of Yale and Harvard streets, the picture of a happy young couple blessed with looks and money. Much of the park was still barren land, and the biggest building, Manufactures and Liberal Arts, was barely under way. Society matrons came as well, to attend meetings of the Board of Lady Managers.
Emeline found that riding her bicycle was best in the days after a good downpour. Otherwise the dust billowed like sand over Khartoum and sifted deep into her scalp, where even a good brushing failed to dislodge it. He was tall, with a clean jaw and modest mustache, and wore a cheap suit; in his thirties; good looking, in a way, but at the same time self-effacing and plain—though at the moment he appeared to be angry.
He introduced himself as Ned Conner and said he had once run the jewelry counter in the pharmacy downstairs. He had come to discuss a problem with a mortgage. She smiled and told Ned that Holmes was out of the building. She had no idea when he would return. Could she help? Ned watched her. She wore a white shirtwaist and black skirt that accentuated her trim figure, and she was seated beside a window, her hair candescent with sunlight. She sat before a black Remington, new and doubtless never paid for.
On May 1, , a doctor namedM. She still occupied rooms in a nearby boardinghouse. Holmes were not strictly those of an employer and employee, but we felt that she was to be more pitied than blamed. Emeline was infatuated with Holmes. She loved him for his warmth, his caresses, his imperturbable calm, and his glamour. Never had she met a man quite like him. He was even the son of an English lord, a fact he had confided in strictest secrecy.
She was to tell no one, which dampened the fun quite a bit but added to the mystery. She did reveal the secret to friends, of course, but only after first securing their oaths that they absolutely would tell no one else. The name Holmes clearly was English—to know that, all one had to do was read the immensely popular stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And an English heritage would explain his extraordinary charm and smooth manner, so unusual in brutish, clangorous Chicago.
Emeline was a warm and outgoing woman. She wrote often to her family in Lafayette, Indiana, and to the friends she had made in Dwight. She acquired friends easily. She still dined at regular intervals with the woman who ran the first boardinghouse in which she had stayed after her arrival in Chicago and considered the woman an intimate friend. In October two of her second cousins, Dr. Cigrand, paid her a visit. They had not previously met. Cigrand said. Cigrand and his wife did not encounter Holmes on this visit and in fact never did meet him face to face, but they heard glowing stories from Emeline about his charm, generosity, and business prowess.
She explained, too, how the elevated railroad being erected over Sixty-third Street would carry guests directly to Jackson Park. No one doubted that by the summer of armies of visitors would be advancing on Englewood. To Emeline, success seemed inevitable. She was headlong in love with her young physician and thus in love with all that he did. But Dr. Cigrand did not share her glowing assessment of the building and its prospects. To him, the building was gloomy and imposing, out of spirit with its surrounding structures. Within just a couple of blocks of Sixty-third rose huge, elaborate houses of many colors and textures, and down the street stood the Timmerman Opera House and the adjacent New Julien Hotel, whose owners had spent heavily on fine materials and expert craftsmen.
Clearly Holmes had not consulted an architect, at least not a competent one. The lumber was low grade, the carpentry slipshod. Passages veered at odd angles. Still, Emeline seemed entranced. But again, Emeline was in love. It was not his place to wound her. She was young and enraptured, her joy infectious, especially to Dr. Cigrand, the dentist, who saw so little joy from day to day as he reduced grown men of proven courage to tears. He promised her a honeymoon in Europe during which, of course, they would pay a visit to his father, the lord. He traveled to Chicago, Asheville, Knoxville, Louisville, and Rochester, each overnight leg compounding his distress.
In Chicago, despite the tireless efforts of his young lieutenant Harry Codman, the work was far behind schedule, the task ahead growing more enormous by the day. The first major deadline, the dedication set for October 21, , seemed impossibly near—and would have seemed even more so had not fair officials changed the original date, October 12, to allow New York City to hold its own Columbus celebration.
Given the calumny New York previously had shoveled on Chicago, the postponement was an act of surprising grace. Construction delays elsewhere on the grounds were especially frustrating for Olmsted. When contractors fell behind, his own work fell behind. His completed work also suffered. Workmen trampled his plantings and destroyed his roads. The U. Government Building was a case in point. What had been accomplished one day would be spoiled the next.
The delays and damage angered Olmsted, but other matters distressed him even more. And no one seemed to share his conviction that the Wooded Island must remain free of all structures. Everyone wanted space on the island. Olmsted would not allow it. Next came Theodore Roosevelt, head of the U.
Civil Service Commission and a human gunboat. The island, he insisted, was perfect for the hunting camp exhibit of his Boone and Crockett Club. Burnham, partly to keep the peace, also urged Olmsted to accept it. Olmsted did object. Next came the U. The government of Japan also wanted the island. To Burnham it now seemed inevitable that something would occupy the island. The setting was just too appealing. They propose to do the most exquisitely beautiful things and desire to leave the buildings as a gift to the City of Chicago after the close of the Fair.
It did not help his mood any that as he battled to protect the island, he learned of another attack on his beloved Central Park. The public responded with outrage. His insomnia and pain, the crushing workload, and his mounting frustration all tore at his spirit until by the end of March he felt himself on the verge of physical and emotional collapse. The intermittent depression that had shadowed him throughout his adult life was about to envelop him once again.
Olmsted, however, believed that all he needed was a good rest. In keeping with the therapeutic mores of the age, he decided to do his convalescing in Europe, where the scenery also would provide an opportunity for him to enrich his visual vocabulary. He planned forays to public gardens and parks and the grounds of the old Paris exposition. For Marion and the boys, it promised to be a dream journey; for Olmsted it became something rather more dark. They sailed on Saturday, April 2, , and arrived in Liverpool under a barrage of hail and snow. In Chicago Sol Bloom received a cable from France that startled him.
He read it a couple of times to make sure it said what he thought it said. His Algerians, scores of them along with all their animals and material possessions, were already at sea, sailing for America and the fair—one year early. Olmsted found the English countryside charming, the weather bleak and morbid. After a brief stay at the home of relatives in Chislehurt, he and the boys left for Paris.
Daughter Marion stayed behind. In Paris Olmsted went to the old exposition grounds. Clearly the site was still popular. During one Sunday visit Olmsted and the boys found four bands playing, refreshment stands open, and a few thousand people roaming the paths. A long line had formed at the base of the Eiffel Tower.
With the Chicago fair always in mind, Olmsted examined every detail. They show I think more fitness for their purposes, seem more designed for the occasion and to be less like grand permanent architectural monuments than ours are to be. I question if ours are not at fault in this respect and if they are not going to look too assuming of architectural stateliness and to be overbonded with sculptural and other efforts for grandeur and grandiloquent pomp.
Olmsted liked traveling with his youthful entourage. A doctor, Henry Rayner, paid a social visit to Chislehurst to meet Olmsted. Olmsted accepted. Rayner too was perplexed, according to Olmsted. He regards my present trouble as a variation in form of the troubles which led me to come abroad. Nearly every ornamental flowerbed offended him. I cannot go out without being delighted.
The view before me as I write, veiled by the rain, is just enchanting. Even when there is no bloom this is charming. And these things can be had by the hundred thousand at very low prices. At times the scenes he saw challenged his vision of Jackson Park, at other times they affirmed it.
Above all, his sorties reinforced his belief that the Wooded Island, despite the Japanese temple, should be made as wild as possible. But he also recognized that the wildness he sought would have to be tempered with excellent groundskeeping. He worried that Chicago would not be up to the task. Overall Olmsted remained confident that his exposition landscape would succeed. A new worry troubled him, however. Bloom went to New York to meet the ship and reserved two traincars to bring the villagers and their cargo back to Chicago. As the Algerians left the ship, they began moving in all directions at once.
No one seemed to be in charge. Bloom raced up to them, shouting commands in French and English. Otherwise I may lose my temper and throw you into the water. I understand it is somewhere in the hinterland. Bloom handed him a cigar and proposed that he become his bodyguard and assistant. Both men lit up and puffed smoke into the fragrant murk above New York Harbor.
Burnham fought to boost the rate of construction, especially of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, which had to be completed by Dedication Day. He ordered the builder of the Electricity Building to double his workforce and to put the men to work at night under electric lights. He threatened the Manufactures contractor with the same fate if he did not increase the pace of his work. Burnham had all but given up hope of surpassing the Eiffel Tower. Most recently he had turned down another outlandish idea, this from an earnest young Pittsburgh engineer who had attended his lecture to the Saturday Afternoon Club.
The public, he said, would be afraid. On Tuesday, April 5, , at A. Three weeks later another storm destroyed eight hundred feet of the south wall of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. To find ways to accelerate the work, Burnham called the eastern architects to Chicago. One looming problem was how to color the exteriors of the main buildings, especially the staff-coated palisades of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building.
And so his life was a tragedy of inconsequence. The day of the meeting Pretyman was on the East Coast. The architects proceeded without him. It might have been one of those things that reached all minds at once. At any rate, I decided it. Beman, was nearly finished. It became the test building. Burnham ordered it painted a creamy white. Burnham did not miss him. Burnham hired him. Millet quickly proved his worth. In the first week of May a powerful storm dropped an ocean of rain on Chicago and again caused the Chicago River to reverse flow. The decaying carcass of a horse was spotted bobbing near one of the intake cribs.
This new surge underscored for Burnham the urgency of completing his plan to pipe Waukesha spring water to the fair by Opening Day. Earlier, in July , the exposition had granted a contract for the work to the Hygeia Mineral Springs Company, headed by an entrepreneur named J. McElroy, but the company had accomplished little. Hygeia secured rights to lay its pipe from its springhouse in Waukesha through the village itself but failed to anticipate the intensity of opposition from citizens who feared the pipeline would disfigure their landscape and drain their famous springs.
On Saturday evening, May 7, , McElroy loaded a special train with pipes, picks, shovels, and three hundred men and set off for Waukesha to dig his pipeline under cover of darkness. Word of the expedition beat the train to Waukesha. As it pulled into the station, someone rang the village firebell, and soon a large force of men armed with clubs, pistols, and shotguns converged on the train. Two fire engines arrived hissing steam, their crews ready to blast the pipelayers with water. One village leader told McElroy that if he went ahead with his plan, he would not leave town alive.
Soon another thousand or so townspeople joined the small army at the station. Burnham still wanted that water. Workers had already laid pipes in Jackson Park for two hundred springwater booths. McElroy gave up trying to run pipes directly into the village of Waukesha. Instead he bought a spring in the town of Big Bend, twelve miles south of Waukesha, just inside the Waukesha County line.
Fair visitors would be able to drink Waukesha springwater after all. That the water came from the county and not the famous village was a subtlety upon which Burnham and McElroy did not dwell. In Jackson Park everyone became caught up in the accelerating pace of construction. As the buildings rose, the architects spotted flaws in their designs but found the forward crush of work so overwhelming, it threatened to leave the flaws locked in stone, or at least staff. Frank Millet unofficially kept watch over the buildings of the eastern architects during their lengthy absences from the park, lest some ad hoc decision cause irreparable aesthetic damage.
I staved them off from a cement floor in the Rotunda to-day and insisted that you must have brick… It takes no end of time and worry to get a thing settled right but only a second to have orders given out for a wrong thing to be done.
Daily Cialis Pill
All these remarks are in strict confidence, and I write in this way to urge you to be explicit and flat-footed in your wishes. The workers installed three sets of parallel railroad tracks along the length of the building. Workers using the traveler could lift and position two trusses at a time. Just getting the components to the park had required six hundred railcars. On Wednesday, June 1, exposition photographer Charles Arnold took a photograph of the building to record its progress.
Anyone looking at that photograph would have had to conclude that the building could not possibly be finished in the four and a half months that remained until Dedication Day. The trusses were in place but no roof. The walls were just beginning to rise. When Arnold took the photograph, hundreds of men were at work on the building, but its scale was so great that none of the men was immediately visible. The ladders that rose from one level of scaffold to the next had all the substance of matchsticks and imparted to the structure an aura of fragility.
In the foreground stood mountains of debris. Two weeks later Arnold returned for another photograph and captured a very different scene—one of devastation. One hundred thousand feet of lumber crashed to the floor. The contractor, Francis Agnew, acknowledged the wall had been inadequately braced but blamed this condition on Burnham for pushing the men to build too quickly. Now Burnham pushed them even harder.
He made good on his threat and doubled the number of men working on the building. They worked at night, in rain, in stifling heat. In August alone the building took three lives. Elsewhere on the grounds four other men died and dozens more suffered all manner of fractures, burns, and lacerations. The fair, according to one later appraisal, was a more dangerous place to work than a coal mine. Burnham intensified his drive for more power. The constant clash between the Exposition Company and the National Commission had become nearly unbearable. Even the congressional investigators had recognized that the overlapping jurisdiction was a source of discord and needless expense.
The company and commission worked out a truce. On August 24 the executive committee named Burnham director of works. Chief of everything. Soon afterward Burnham dispatched letters to all his department heads, including Olmsted. In Pittsburgh the young steel engineer became more convinced than ever that his challenge to the Eiffel Tower could succeed. He asked a partner in his inspection firm, W.
Gronau, to calculate the novel forces that would play among the components of his structure. After three weeks of intense work, however, he came up with detailed specifications. The numbers were persuasive, even to Burnham. In June the Ways and Means Committee agreed that the thing should be built. They granted a concession. The next day the committee revoked it—second thoughts, after a night spent dreaming of freak winds and shrieking steel and two thousand lives gone in a wink.
Its young designer still did not concede defeat, however. Soon he sensed a change. The new man in charge of the Midway, Sol Bloom, had struck like a bolt of lightning and seemed amenable to just about anything—the more novel and startling the better. And Burnham had gained almost limitless power over the construction and operation of the fair. In the first week of September Olmsted and his young party left England for home, departing Liverpool aboard the City of New York.
The seas were high, the crossing difficult. Seasickness felled Marion and left Rick perpetually queasy. His insomnia came back. Dedication Day was only a month away, and Harry Codman was again ill, incapacitated by the same stomach problem that had struck him during the summer. Olmsted left for Chicago to take over direct supervision of the work while Codman recovered. In Chicago he found a changed park. The Mines Building was finished, as was the Fisheries Building. Most of the other buildings were well under way, including, incredibly, the giant Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, where hundreds of workers swarmed its scaffolds and roof.
Amid all this work, however, the landscape had suffered. Temporary tracks latticed the grounds. Wagons had gouged chasms across paths, roads, and would-be lawns. Litter lay everywhere. Olmsted, of course, knew that tremendous progress had been made, but it was the sort that escaped casual notice. Lagoons existed now where once there had been barren land. The elevated sites upon which the buildings stood had not existed until his grading teams created them. One indisputably positive development had occurred during his absence, however. Burnham had awarded the boat concession to a company called the Electric Launch and Navigation Company, which had produced a lovely electric vessel of exactly the character Olmsted wanted.
On Dedication Day even the press was polite enough to overlook the stark appearance of the grounds and the unfinished feel of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. To have done otherwise would have been an act of disloyalty to Chicago and the nation. The dedication had been anticipated nationwide. Francis J. He composed a pledge that the Bureau of Education mailed to virtually every school. A great parade brought Burnham and other dignitaries to the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, where a standing army of , Chicagoans filled the thirty-two-acre floor.
Shafts of sunlight struck through the rising mist of human breath. Ex-mayor Carter Harrison, again running for a fifth term, strode about shaking hands, his black slouch hat raising cheers from supporters in the crowd. The chamber was so immense that visual signals had to be used to let the chorus know when a speaker had stopped talking and a new song could begin. Microphones did not yet exist, so only a small portion of the audience actually heard any speeches.
The rest, with faces contorted from the strain of trying to listen, saw distant men gesturing wildly into the sound-killing miasma of whispers, coughs and creaking shoe leather. This was a big day for Miss Monroe. She watched with pride as an actress read it to the few thousand people close enough to hear it. Unlike the majority of the audience, Monroe believed the poem to be rather a brilliant work, so much so that she had hired a printer to produce five thousand copies for sale to the public.
He was twenty-four years old now and despite his accelerating mental decline was still employed by the Inter Ocean as a delivery contractor. The card, like all the others, was four inches wide by five inches long, blank on one face, with postal insignia and a printed one-cent stamp on the other. In this time when writing long letters was everyday practice, men of normal sensibility saw these cards as the most crabbed of media, little better than telegrams, but to Prendergast this square of stiff paper was a vehicle that gave him a voice in the skyscrapers and mansions of the city.
Trude, Lawyer. That Prendergast had selected Trude to be one of his correspondents was not surprising. He knew that Alfred S. Prendergast filled the postcard from top margin to bottom, from edge to edge, with little regard for whether the sentences formed level lines or not. He gripped the pen so tightly it impressed channels into the tips of his thumb and forefinger. He wrote with a tone of familiarity that presumed Trude would consider him a peer. As the note progressed, his handwriting shrank, until it seemed like something extruded rather than written.
The note clicked from theme to theme like the wheels of a train crossing a freightyard. He did not add a closing and did not sign the note. He simply ran out of room, then posted the card. Trude read the note and at first dismissed it as the work of a crank. The number of troubled men and women seemed to be increasing with each passing year.
The jails were full of them, a warden later would testify. Inevitably some became dangerous, like Charles Guiteau, the man who had assassinated President Garfield in Washington. This time in addition to drawings and specifications he included a list of investors, the names of the prominent men on his board, and proof that he had raised enough money to finance the project to completion.
On December 16, , the committee granted him a concession to build his structure in the Midway Plaisance. This time the decision held. He needed an engineer willing to go to Chicago and supervise the construction effort and thought he knew just the man: Luther V. I am going to build a vertically revolving wheel ' in dia. Nowhere in this letter, however, did he reveal the true dimension of his vision: that this wheel would carry thirty-six cars, each about the size of a Pullman, each holding sixty people and equipped with its own lunch counter, and how when filled to capacity the wheel would propel 2, people at a time three hundred feet into the sky over Jackson Park, a bit higher than the crown of the now six-year-old Statue of Liberty.
Initially her mood was bright, for the parcel contained an early Christmas present she planned to give to her friends the Lawrences, but as she neared the corner of Sixty-third and Wallace, her spirits dimmed. Where once the building had seemed almost a palace—not for its architectural nobility but for what it promised—now it looked drab and worn. The warmth and welcome resurrected her good spirits. She handed the parcel to Mrs. Lawrence, who opened it immediately and pulled from the wrapping a tin plate upon which Emeline had painted a lovely forest.
The gift delighted Mrs. Lawrence but also perplexed her. Lawrence could have offered a gift in return? Her face brightening, Emeline explained that she was going home to Indiana to spend Christmas with her family. Lawrence said. Lawrence laughed. Holmes could never get along without you. The remark confirmed something for the Lawrences. Lately she had begun talking of returning one day to Dwight to resume her work for Dr. Emeline never told the Lawrences good-bye.
Her visits simply stopped. That she would leave without a parting word struck Mrs. Lawrence as being very much out of character. Ordinarily Holmes looked at Mrs. Lawrence with a directness that was unsettling, but now he avoided her gaze. The news shocked Mrs. It was a secret, Holmes explained: Emeline and her betrothed had revealed their wedding plans only to him. But for Mrs. Lawrence this explanation only raised more questions. Why would the couple want such privacy?
Why had Emeline said nothing to Mrs. Lawrence, when together they had shared so many other confidences? She remained perplexed and a few days later again asked Holmes about Emeline. He pulled a square envelope from his pocket. The envelope contained a wedding announcement. Not engraved, as was customary, merely typeset.
This too surprised Mrs. Emeline never would have accepted so mundane a means of communicating news of such magnitude. Holmes told Mrs. Lawrence he had received his copy from Emeline herself. Most likely Holmes forged the envelopes or else duped Emeline into preparing them by persuading her they would be used for a legitimate purpose, perhaps for Christmas cards. For Mrs. Lawrence the announcement explained nothing. Emeline had never mentioned a Robert Phelps. And if Emeline had come to the building bearing marriage announcements, she surely would have presented one in person.
The next day Mrs. Lawrence stopped Holmes yet again, and this time asked what he knew about Phelps. I do not know anything about him except that he is a traveling man. Her many friends feel that she has exercised good judgment in selecting a husband and will heartily congratulate her. In the days that followed Mrs.
Lawrence asked Holmes additional questions about Emeline, but he responded only in monosyllables. Its contents clearly were heavy and made the big trunk difficult to manage. Holmes repeatedly cautioned his helpers to be careful with it. An express wagon arrived and took it away. Lawrence later claimed that at this point she became convinced Holmes had killed Emeline. Yet she and her husband made no effort to move from the building, nor did they go to the police. No one did. Not Mrs. Lawrence, not Mr. Andrew Smythe. It was as if no one expected the police would be interested in yet another disappearance or, if they were, that they would be competent enough to conduct an effective investigation.
Her parents at first believed—hoped—she had sent the trunk home because now that she was marrying a wealthy man, she no longer needed such old and worn things. The Cigrands received no further mail from Emeline, not even at Christmas. The Cigrands and Lawrences would have found their anxiety intensified manyfold had they known a few other facts:. That on January 2, , Holmes again had enlisted the help of Charles Chappell, the articulator, and sent him a trunk containing the corpse of a woman, her upper body stripped nearly bare of flesh;.
That a few weeks later the LaSalle Medical College of Chicago had taken delivery of a nicely articulated skeleton;. Somehow a footprint had become etched into the smooth enameled finish on the inside of the vault door at a point roughly two feet above the floor. The toes, the ball, and the heel were so clearly outlined as to leave no doubt that a woman had left the print. They tried rubbing it off by hand, then with a cloth and soap and water, but it remained as clear as ever. No one could explain it with any certainty.
The best guess posited that Holmes had lured a woman into the vault; that the woman was shoeless at the time, perhaps nude; and that Holmes then had closed the airtight door to lock her inside. She had left the print in a last hopeless effort to force the door open. The theory held that Emeline had stepped in the acid, then placed her feet against the door, thus literally etching the print into the enamel.