Friedman Fine Art presents remarkable contemporary and historical photographs taken by Chicago photographers. The Congress Hotel is a historic Chicago hotel on Michigan Avenue, which was originally built to accommodate visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Located across South Michigan Avenue from Grant Park in Chicago at 520 South Michigan Avenue, this 14-story hotel serviced our nation’s Presidents, foreign dignitaries, movie celebrities, and housed many conventions. The guestrooms and suites of the Congress Hotel are spacious and decorative, with stunning views of Lake Michigan.Designed by architect Clinton J. Warren, the 11-story structure was originally constructed for an annex to the Auditorium Theater across the street. The two buildings were linked by Peacock Alley, a marble underground passage. In 1902 and in 1907, the firm of Holabird & Roche oversaw construction of two additions, making the entire complex 1 million square feet.
In 1940, Chicago artist Louis Grell was commissioned to paint thirteen murals for the lunettes, architectural features around the grand lobby. The murals had popular scenes in Chicago at the time. In 1955 Pick had Grell paint three walls for the Pompeian Room which also housed the Louis Comfort Tiffany glass fountain. The building also features the famous Gold Room, one of Chicago’s most beautiful ballrooms. Find more Old Chicago Photos.
In honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus and his exploration of the Americas, Chicago celebrated his finding of America with World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 (also known as The Chicago World’s Fair) beating out other cities like New York and D.C. In preparation of the fair, many of the buildings were designed by Daniel Burnham in the neoclassical and Beau-Arts architectural styles and temporary.
Although the fairs celebratory opening festivities were held in 1892, the actual fair did not open until a year later in May of 1893. The exposition was held in Jackson Park (between 59th and 60th streets) and covered over 600 acres of land. With over 40 countries participating, the fair had many new and attracting exhibits such as the Ferris Wheel, a moveable sidewalk and an ice rail way. With over 716,000 people in attendance, the fair was successful to the city that a red star was added to the city’s flag.
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Formerly known as Meigs Field, the now Northerly Island and McCormick Place locations were the home grounds of the 1933 World’s Fair. Stretching from 12th street to 39th street, the Chicago World’s Fair (also called the Century of Progress Exposition) of 1933 was to intended to celebrate the centennial of Chicago and represent the progress to come for not only Chicago, but the world as it related to technology innovations and business.
With the motto of “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts”, this fair was to be a great contrast to the previous one of 1893 with its all white buildings; this fair was a lively event with brightly colored buildings of modern architecture with exhibits and entertainment to inspire wonder and awe. With the great depression over, President Roosevelt supported the reopening of the fair and encouraged it leading to a second opening of the fair a year later in May of 1934 with immense popularity. Exhibits and entertainment such as live babies on display in incubators, automobile showings, the Skyride and a striptease act were intriguing welcomed sites while others such the Graf Zeppelinwere not.
Upon the Fair’s end in October of 1934, Chicago had welcomed over 40 million people and effectively generated enough money to pay off all of its debts and have a profit. This is a vintage photograph of one of the main buildings at Chicago Fair.