So, it has been a week since the surgery and the incision seems to be healing well. To pass the time, I have been catching up on reading—reading legal cases and writing briefs for my Planning Law class at UC Davis and finishing a book I had checked out of the library well over a month ago. The book is called “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson. It was recommended by a fellow student in one of my Planning courses since the book focuses on the Fair’s architect Daniel Burnham—notable architect and urban planner who is one of the founding fathers of urban planning. Among other structures, he designed the Flatiron Building in New York City. In addition, the book focuses on Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the landscaping for the Fair. As the founding father of landscape architecture, he also designed Central Park in New York City. The backdrop of the book is the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair – the Columbia Exposition that celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival the New World.
The Fair was nicknamed “The White City” for its majestic beauty. Intertwined within the story of Burnham & Olmsted designing the “White City” is the story of H.H. Holmes—a serial killer who uses the Fair to lure his victims to his hotel. This was a fascinating book to read—all the more enthralling because it was a true story.
Here are some fascinating facts associated with the Columbia Exposition:
While the Fair was being planned, built, and hosted, America was in a state of economic turmoil—banks were failing, people were losing their jobs. Sound familiar? Yet, through it all, a group of talented people created something that forged change in America in many so ways. I have hope that the times we’re living in now will make us equally stronger.