Event—Public Programming

From White City to Green Haven: Jackson Park's Late 19th-Century Transformations

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Listen to an audio recording of this event.

In the late 1860s, when acclaimed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. visited the site for Chicago’s Jackson Park he did not consider it very promising.

In fact, he later wrote the “If a search had been made for the least parklike ground within miles of the city, nothing better meeting that requirement would have been found.” Yet, despite his trepidation, Olmsted created three magnificent sets of plans for Jackson Park: the original 1871 layout for 1055-acre South Park, the scheme for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and plans of the late 1890s transforming the fairgrounds back into parkland. In this lecture historian Julia Bachrach will highlight the early development of Jackson Park, exploring the ways in which natural features, Olmsted’s philosophies about society, recreational needs and expectations, and collaborations with designers such as architect Daniel H. Burnham shaped Jackson Park during the late nineteenth century.

Julia Bachrach is a historian, preservation planner, and urban design professional.

Check out a Quick Guide to related materials in the Newberry collection.

This event, funded by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, is part of our programming in connection with the exhibition Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World's Fair. See it from September 28 to December 31, 2018, at the Newberry.

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