Midway-Plaisance

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Screenshots from The Great Ziegfeld, 1936.

Florenz Ziegfeld, the world famous showman and stage producer, was born and raised in Chicago - getting his start in show business promoting the strongman, Sandow, at the Columbian Exposition of 1893. 

This film is the first where I have have seen the World’s Fair recreated. It’s worth watching the beginning 20 minutes of the film to see (albeit stylized) recreations of the exposition’s sights and sounds.

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In 1907 the artist Lorado Taft proposed creating a waterway on the Midway Plaisance, connecting the bodies of water in Jackson Park to those in Washington Park.

This water canal would be traversed by three bridges, the Bridge of the Arts, the Bridge of Sciences and the Bridge of Religions.

On the east end of the Midway would be a scultpture called the Fountain of Creation and on the west end one called the Fountain of Time.

Of course, the latter would be the only one realized which stands today at the western edge of Midway Plaisance Park and the eastern edge of Washington Park.