Friedman Fine Art and http://www.chicago-photographs.com are pleased to present this unique historical photograph of Chicago.
Typically characterized as the mishap of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, the Great Chicago Fire was a devastating calamity for the small up and coming town in 1871. From the evening of October 8th to the early afternoon of October 10th, the fire burned bright and brawny destroying everything in its path. Chicago known then as “white city” for all of the white wood used for the construction of the entire town, coupled with a dry summer drought, aided the flames and fueled the destruction.
Due to the fire burning at an uncontrollable rate for three long days and a damaged water system, the fire fighters were exhausted and were eventually forced to let the fire die out on its own terms. At the end of the fire’s reign, about two to three million books in a private collection had been burned, one-third of the city’s population was homeless and 300 lives had been taken.
Following the Great Chicago Fire was the Great Rebuilding where fire laws were enacted and required that all buildings be made of rock like materials such as marble and other various stones with terra cotta (a mixture of sand and clay) taking the top spot as the most popular material. During the reconstruction of the Palmer House Hilton, the building was remade with Terra Cotta dubbing itself as the “Worlds Only Fire Proof Hotel”
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