Transportation in the Colombian Exposition

During the Colombian Exposition, there were many new renovations to how people will live their lives from that moment on. Everything that people knew about transportation, entertainment, and architecture would change. People would soon realize that the worlds fair would be spectacular of the century.

They expected to see things that were so extravagant and so amazing that it would go down in history as on of the most amazing spectacle in that time. One of the world’s biggest contributions to the Columbian Exposition is Transportation. The Grand Transportation Building was a new emerging model that attracted many visitors and spectators.

The Grand Transportation building was sought to be an amazing and beautiful thing. The building itself was quite large and with its intricate design made it impossible for it not to be an attracting building to many spectators and visitors. The great designers of the marvelous building were two men by the names of Adler and Sullivan. The cost of having this building done would be 300,000 dollars.

The blue print showed the building having a front view of 960 feet and a dept of 250 feet. From this expands westward to Stoney Island Avenue an enormous building occupying 9 acres[1]. Because of its large stature, Mr. S.H. Hale grated the operations of eight elevators and a café for spectators.

The building would be divided up into three divisions in the department. These three divisions were the railway, marine, and the vehicle divisions. Railway exhibits will be found in the large annex[2]. Many different representations of diverse countries were shown inside the exhibit. Places such as England, France, Japan, Canada, Russia, Australia, and Turkey. The interior was much like a Roman Basilica with a broad nave and aisles.

The building is simple in architectural treatment, but very rich and elaborate in detail. In style of relation to the Romanesque style[3]. The building wanted to capture a classical look while bringing the new technology and transportation ways to show the modern side. The elaborate detail made a large impression of spectators as an attractive visual aspect in the building.

As well as many advantages and extravagance, the building also had flaws and problems. Although the building was considered rather lager than life, it was not big enough to hold all of the intended exhibits. Louis Sullivan’s Transportation building attracted greater attention, especially its “Golden Door” a series of five recorded arches colored red, orange, and yellow which produced striking visual effects[4]. It was seen as overcrowded with all the spectators and featured exhibits. Because of the limited space, it was difficult for spectators to view certain exhibits. Some “futuristic” items remained ignored and little attention was paid to them.

Architectural critics John Burched and Arthur Bush-Brown have noted that it has made no statement about transportation or any important prediction for further railroad station either[5]. It also suffered some technical defect and artistic contradictions. Different parts of the exhibit seemed very different and contradicted with the theme of the whole building. Some parts tried to represent a classic Romanesque style of architecture while some sections represented a more modern look. A few people believed that was quite confusing how they tried to make the building seem.

The designs were controversial and conflicting. Many critics disliked the ornaments hung on the ceiling and placed in various parts of the exhibit. They recorded that they saw all types of transportation items such as what you would see in a locomotive. They even had horses and camels in various display rooms.

Because the transportation building was a main component to the worlds fair, many people were influence to expand on the many visual aspects of the fair. In Chicago few historians studied the transportation building closely and few important people noticed it. Charles Duryea, who was one of the bicycle mechanic’s, used the Daimler car as an inspiration for a four- wheeled, one- cylinder Motor Wagon.

Duryea built it with his own brother, Frank Duryea. In 1896 the Duryea Brother stabled their independent company called the Duryea Motor Wagon Company. They were the first to mass- produce gas and powered vehicles in the United States.

The Duryea brothers’ weren’t the only one’s interested in the transportation building. A man named Henry Ford was an admirer of the Daimler car. He returned to Dearborn right after the fair. Ford was an inventor also, he bolt his own internal -combustion quadricycle. He called it a “gasoline buggy.” In July 4, 1896 Fords’ “gasoline buggy” was first driven on the roads. Later in the year Ford sold it for two hundred dollars. A few years Henry Ford Incorporated his company and a new era after his first sale, ford motor company and the automobile age had begun.

The Columbian Exposition not only served as one of the largest collection of worlds creativeness and extravagance, but also as a starting ground and a kicking off point to expand the way people lived their lives. The fair gave people the ability to see what has already been made and ways it can be improved.

The fair not only encouraged fellow architects and inventors, but also the younger generation. It was a time in history where the world powers showcased their creativity and imaginations. With all the difficulties of the Columbian exchange, the Transportation has given readers as well as historian a vivid image of how transportation began and continued. The World’s Columbian Exchange will forever serve as a memorable time in history

———————–[1] Moses Purmell Handy, Worlds Columbian Exposition, 1893 official catalogue, Volume 7-12 [2] Handy 2[3] Handy 4[4] Robert Muccigross, Celebrating the New World, Chicago’s ColumbianExposition of 1893, p.69 [5] Muccigross p. 70