C. Dean.

The World's fair city and her enterprising sons online

. (page 2 of 27)
Online LibraryC. DeanThe World's fair city and her enterprising sons → online text (page 2 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in times of emergency. The Chicago banks
are recognized all over the country, and in
the financial centers of Europe, for their sta-
bility and solid character. The conservative
and practical policy with which they are man-
aged, without speculative investments, recom-
mends them as superior to Eastern financial
institutions in holding the funds of other
banks. This is the only inland city that
shares with New York financial relations
with foreign countries.

The lumber trade here is gigantic. The
great pineries of Michigan and Wisconsin,
which grow on the other side of Lake Michi-


gan, furnish most of the supply. The num-
ber of laborers employed in this business
would make a strong army. No single
branch of trade or manufacture has more
capital invested than this industry. In 1869,
articles of incorporation were obtained from
the legislature for the "Lumbermen's Ex-
change of Chicago," which represents a
membership of about one hundred and fifty,
with a capital of about $45,000,000. It has
a great influence over the trade and com-
merce of the United States.

The Union Stock Yards, situated in the
southwestern part of the city, is the great
market of live stock for the world. They
occupy three hundred and sixty acres of land.
Cattle, hogs and sheep are prepared here for
the market. It also affords complete accom-
modation for the sale of improved breeds of
cattle and horses. A large pavilion, with a
seating capacity for six hundred persons, is
erected for the purpose. There are large
and commodious buildings in which this vast
business is transacted, and a first-class hotel,
erected at a cost of $250,000, where stock-
men are accommodated for two dollars a day.


The Exchange Building is a large brick
structure located in the center of the yards.
It is divided into apartments for the Board of
Trade, offices of the company, National
bank, telegraph office, post-office, restaurant,
commission firms, and other necessary de-
partments. Two large artesian wells, one of
which is eleven hundred and the other twelve
hundred feet deep, are sunk in the center of
the yards.

The Chicago Live Stock Exchange was
organized in 1884 for the promotion of the
interests of the stock-raising fraternity. A
competent veterinary surgeon is employed
for the purpose of preventing the introduc-
tion of diseased cattle in the market. The
system in which stock is prepared for sale is
perfect in exactness and economy. It is said
that there is nothing wasted but the squeal
of the only animal known in nature's econ-
omy whose highest expression of happiness
is a grunt.

The manufacturers of Chicago engage in
almost every variety of productions, which
are distributed all over the country, and
exported to foreign lands. Although it does


not rank first as a manufacturing city, the
rapid strides which it is taking in that direc-
tion may soon reach the point. It is esti-
mated that products to the value of over $ 1 80,-
000,000 are now manufactured here yearly.
More than fifty-five thousand men are em-
ployed in this art. Among the most impor-
tant products are clothing, musical instru-
ments, liquors, block-paving, jewelry, drugs,
safety-vaults, stoves, carriage varnishes, toys,
artificial limbs, butterine, oleomargarine, etc.

The wholesale dry goods trade in the city
is mainly in the hands of five immense estab-
lishments, which are, to the highest degree,
prosperous. Having superior advantages in
location, unrivaled transit facilities by water
and land, manufactories, ample capital, skill-
ful, energetic business men, it is no wonder
that the results are satisfactory. The whole-
sale merchant gives the retail dealer the
advantage of fluctuations in the market or
change of fashions, for he only orders what
is needed from time to time, thus avoiding
any risks of outlay.

The educational advantages of Chicago
rank high; but the public schools, which are


gigantic in proportions and exact in require
ments, are the pride of the city; in fact, they
are the schools of the city; rich and poor,
alike, enjoy their privileges. At present,
thirty-two hundred teachers are employed,
and there is an enrollment of nearly one hun-
dred and fifty thousand pupils. The manage-
ment is in the hands of a Board of Education,
consisting of a president, vice-president, secre-
tary, and twelve members, making fifteen in
all, who are appointed by the City Council.
The schools are in charge of a superintendent,
with eight assistants, elected by the Board of
Education. Two hundred and three build-
ings are conveniently located throughout the
city, each of which is in charge of the princi-
pal, thus dividing the duties involved upon
teachers, principals, superintendents and
Board of Education.

There are also a large number of colleges,
universities, and seminaries in the city and
its suburbs, some of which have a wide rep-
utation. Many of these are devoted to
special branches, such as theology, music, in-
dustries, law, medicine, dental surgery, liter-
ature and art. Rush College is the oldest



medical school in Chicago. It was estab-
lished in 1837, when the city was incorpor-
ated. Now it is the largest, and most influ-
ential of its kind in the country. A depart-
ment for the treatment of rabies by Pasteur's
method and remedies, has been recently
added. It is located at the corner of Wood
and Harrison streets, opposite the County
Hospital. There are also one Eclectic and
three Homeopathic Colleges.

' ' Dr. Fairweather's Electro Vacuum Cure, "
where pneumatic therapeutics takes the place
of medicine, is located in this city, Spinal,
nervous and paralytic diseases are treated by
the equalization of the circulation. Brain
exhaustion, which is largely due to the rest-
less activity of the age, yields to this treat-
ment. Locomotor ataxia, a form of paralysis,
which has baffled the skill of the most learned
physicians, it is claimed can be cured only by
the vaccuum method. This institution, which
has been in successful operation for several
years, is specially and wholly devoted to the
cure of these diseases.

The religious privileges of the city are
various and numerous. Five hundred and


sixty -four churches, consisting of all denomi-
nations, are scattered through the three
divisions, all of which compare favorably with
those of other cities, in beauty, comfort, and
completeness. The most celebrated of these
is the great Tabernacle, on the North Side,
where Moody and Sankey held great revivals
some years ago. It will seat about ten
thousand persons. Mr. Moody visits it fre-
quently, and is always welcomed by a full
house, that appreciates that divine's wonder-
ful gift of oratory. The pulpits, generally,
are ably occupied by ministers, some of whom
rank the highest in America. Among the
most distinguished are Prof. David Swing,
Dr. H. M. Thomas, Dr. Burrows, Dr. Gun-
saulus, and others. Although there are many
church attendants, in no other American city
are there so many persons who spend the day
in festivity and pleasure. All laws for Sun-
day observance have been repealed; but, in
appearance, it is as orderly and quiet as any
other large city.

Chicago cannot yet boast of a crematory,
but it has twenty beautiful cemeteries, the
finest of which is Graceland, situated near


o o

Lake Michigan, five and a half miles north of
the center of the city. By a great amount of
labor, skill and a lavish expenditure of money,
this ''city of the dead" rivals, in landscape
effect, the famous parks. Its monuments are
conspicuous, costly, and varied in sculpture;
many of them are original and striking in de-
sign. The Hon. Thomas B. Bryan, of
World's Fair fame, founded this cemetery in

But Chicago has not yet gained its em-
inence. Its fine immense business blocks,
elegant residences, public libraries, institu-
tions of learning, and the great industrial
force, with its invincible energy of commerce,
speak very distinctly of a living, growing
and progressive city that has not yet reached
the climax of its greatness.

The history of Chicago is brief; only a
little over fifty years. Formerly it was sit-
uated upon a level with the lake, and stairs at
nearly every block to mount and descend
familiarized the early settlers with the ups
and downs of life; but now it lies fourteen
feet above those waters, having been raised
to that grade entirely by the skill and energy



of her citizens. Nearly all this labor has
been accomplished since 1856. The city now
is on an inclined plane, rising toward the west
to the height of twenty-eight feet, giving
excellent drainage. Under this surface is
represented an enormous amount of labor, in
the extensive sewerage system, water pipes,
and gas pipes, together with electric and tel-
ephone wires, all of which form an under-
ground network.

In 1837, Chicago, numbering four thousand
one hundred and seventy inhabitants, became
a city, with an area of about ten square miles,
containing six wards. Three years later
(1840) the United States census disclosed a
population of four thousand four hundred
and seventy-nine. From this period to the
date of the great fire in 1871, the city con-
tinued to grow in population, wealth and im-
provement. Its progress surprised the world
and developed pride and energy in its own

The United States census of 1870 gave
the city a population of two hundred and
ninety-eight thousand nine hundred and sev-
enty. But the great fire of October 8, 1871,



which destroyed about $190,000,000 worth of
property, and rendered homeless ninety-eight
thousand five hundred persons, interrupted
its progress for a short time. In a year after
this destruction a large part of the burnt dis-
trict was rebuilt, showing great improvements
and more substantial structures than before.
On July 14, 1874, another fire consumed over
six hundred houses, the larger number of them
being wooden shanties, but fortunately did
not destroy the magnificent buildings of the
rebuilt section. From that time on the city
has grown in wealth and population, reaching
the mark of the second city in population of
the United States, and the largest in area of
the world. Despite fire, storms and commer-
cial perplexities, it is marching onward, evi-
dently with the prospect of being the Paris of
America. Already it has been suggested that
Chicago is the natural seat of government, be-
ing located in the central part of the country,
and more convenient to the people. Why not ?
The World's Fair City is a beautiful city.
Everything seems to be provided here for the
welfare and happiness of the people; but,
despite this fact, there is much sorrow and


suffering which it is not pleasant to record.
The restless and selfish energy of the times
has its results, always, in frequent downfalls
and misfortunes; but there is a spirit of enter-
prise manifested here that may attack the
monster Injustice with a grip that will trans-
form the city into a model city. Utopia!
you say; but greater things have happened.

The great Columbian Exposition, which
celebrates the four hundredth anniversary of
Christopher Columbus' discovery of America,
will be held here in 1893.




" Under the shell there was an animal, and behind tha document
there was a man. Why do you study the shell, except to bring before
you the animal? so you study the document only to know the
man." Taint.

MR. FERD. W. PECK, to whom the country
is indebted for the idea, formation, and suc-
cessful attainment of the greatest private
enterprise ever accomplished in the world, is
among the most liberal of all the numerous
patrons of art in Chicago. He is the man
who gave his attention and efforts to the
erection of the largest and grandest conven-
tion hall in America, the work of which was
accomplished in a comparatively short space
of time, and in the most thorough manner.
In this way Chicago secured a magnificent
structure, and the American people can boast
of having the largest audience-room on the
surface of the earth.

The idea of an auditorium was conceived
by Mr. Peck some time before he presented



it to the public; and the necessity felt during
the great opera festival of 1885, which he
organized and carried through so successful-
ly, further developed the project. In May,
1 886, he presented the subject before the Com-
mercial Club of Chicago in a carefully pre-
pared speech, in which he called attention to
the demands of the country for an assembly-
room for the accommodation of political and
other conventions, reunions of army societies,
and operatic or other musical festivals; he
also referred to the fact that seven national
political conventions had already been held
in Chicago, and that for six of them tempo-
rary halls had been constructed at a large and
necessarily wasteful expenditure of money.
Thus was demonstrated the desire to promote
a sentiment of fraternity among the people of
the United States by providing a common
place of assembly for the deliberations of vast
representative bodies of men, and for the
amusement of the masses at reasonable prices.
This magnificent building is the pride of
Chicago's citizens, and the admiration of vis-
itors from all over the world, not only on ac-
count of its great size and architectural finish,


but also because of its artistic construction,
which is nowhere impaired by excessive dec-
oration. Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, of New
York City, said: "I have traveled through a
great many cities in this country, and across
the ocean, but this is the most wonderful
building I have ever seen; in fact, it beats
anything in the world."

The "Pan Americans," who visited Chi-
cago October, 1889, were given a reception
in the Auditorium before it was finished. They
were very demonstrative in expressing their
admiration of this beautiful structure. Mr.
Selaya, of Honduras, said: " I think I never
saw so fine an interior in my life. I have
traveled all over the world, and I have seen
most of the great buildings, but I have never
seen a building which was intended for so
great a purpose which could compare with
this. It is grand in the most complete sense
of the word."

It was erected within three years; and no
building was ever watched over with more
care or looked after with greater interest.
For a year or more ways and means for its
erection were discussed; and the elaboration


of plans progressed slowly, but successfully.
It was decided to build not only a grand hall,
but to combine in one building a magnificent
hotel, and an office block, rivaling any in exist-
ence. Finally, the ground was selected and
secured, with a frontage on Wabash avenue,
Congress street, and Michigan avenue. The
ground was broken for the building January,
1887. The excavations were made twelve
feet below the sidewalk, and the trenches
were dug out to a depth of from seventeen to
twenty-five, feet. Over fifty thousand cubic
yards of sand, loam, and clay were removed,
in order that the foundations could rest upon
solid clay.

For the foundation of the main building,
two transverse layers of twelve-inch timber
were first laid; above these a five-foot layer
of concrete; and in this, three layers of rail-
road bars and beams were imbedded. The
foundation of the great tower was made se-
cure by a double thickness of timber and con-
crete and five layers of iron. To guard against
unequal settlement eight hundred tons of pig
iron, and great loads of brick were used to
weight the foundations until the masonry was


put in place. When it was completed, the
tower and the main building stood perfectly
level, without settlement in any part. At one
time one thousand men were employed in the
work and nearly one hundred contractors were
engaged in different parts of the building.

Before the building was half finished the
Auditorium was used by the National Repub-
lican Convention of 1888. All who were
present pronounced it perfect in acoustic prop-
erties, convenience and capacity. It covers
about one and one-half acres of ground,, which
is more than half of an entire block in
area. The main building is ten stories, or
one hundred and forty-five feet in height ;
and the great tower is as large as an ordinary
business block, reaching two hundred and
seventy feet upward. The first and second
stories of this great edifice are built of granite,
and the upper stories of Bedford stone. The
weight of the entire building is one hundred
and ten thousand tons. The weight of the tower
alone is fifteen thousand tons. The building-
was completed February, 1890; and the en-
tire structure pronounced absolutely fire-
proof. The cost or investment represented


in the whole structure, including the ground,
amounts to over $4,000,000.

Other interesting facts, for the purpose of
reference, or to satisfy the curiosity of readers
and tourists, are recorded. Fifty thousand
square feet of plate-glass were used in the
windows ; and seventeen million brick for the
interior walls. One hundred and seventy-
five thousand feet of wire lath, and eight hun-
dred square feet of terra-cotta were also used ;
the latter being appropriated for decoration.
The mosaic floors are composed of fifty thou-
sand square feet of Italian marble, which con-
tain over fifty million separate pieces, each of
which was placed in position by female hands
in France and Italy. The arts represented by
mosaic work, marble, onyx, and plaster casts,
together with ceiling and wall decorations,
are not equaled in extent in any other build-
ing in America. The iron work cost $600,-
ooo. For illumination and water supply,
twenty-five miles of pipe are used. Ten thou-
sand electric light globes are distributed all
through the building, in order that the most
remote places may be made brilliant with light.
Two hundred and thirty miles of wire and


cable are used for this purpose. The inter-
nal appliances for the working force of this
great structure consist of eleven dynamos,
thirteen electric motors for driving ventilating
apparatus and other machinery, four hydraulic
motors for driving machinery, eleven boilers,
twenty-one pumping engines, thirteen elevat-
ors, and twenty-six hydraulic lifts for moving
stage platforms.

Besides the great audience-room this build-
ing contains Recital Hall, which has the
capacity to seat over five hundred persons ;
also, the Auditorium Hotel, which is the finest
hotel in the United States. It contains four
hundred guest-rooms. The Grand Dining-
Room, which is one hundred and seventy-five
feet long, and the Kitchen, are on the top floor.
On the sixth floor is a magnificent Banquet
Hall, which is one hundred and twenty feet
long; it is built on steel trusses, spanning
over the great theater below. The Tower
Observatory is one of the most interest-
ing, and certainly the highest feature of
the building. The United States Signal Ser-
vice occupies part of the seventeenth, eight-
eenth and nineteenth floors. The Lantern


Tower is two stories above the main floor.
The Observatory, to which the public is ad-
mitted, is thronged with visitors nearly every
day. A view of the city and the beautiful lake
greet the eye. On a clear day a distance of
nearly thirty miles may be seen on the land ;
across the water, Michigan City, which is
forty-five miles distant, is plainly visible.
Two elevators, which are constantly carrying
visitors to the Observatory, consume twenty
seconds in the trip. The business portion of
the great building consists of stores, on the
first floor, and one hundred and thirty-six
offices, part of which are in the Tower.
Adler and Sullivan, the architects of the
structure, occupy several offices in the upper

The Auditorium has a permanent seating
capacity of over 4,000 ; but, for conventions,
or other great mass meetings, the stage will
be utilized, so that about 8,000 may be accom-
modated. The stage in both breadth and
depth rivals the most famous of ancient or
modern structures. In harmony with every-
thing about this grand theater, the stage ap-
purtenances are of the most magnificent style.


Furniture of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries contrast with the latest designs of
the nineteenth century artisans. Among the
pieces constructed for the stage are a cabinet,
chair, and chandelier modeled after the Eliza-
bethan style. The banquet furniture is, like
the seventeenth century designs, finished in
old gold and sienna. Brackets on either side
support odd vases and antique bric-a-brac.
Spectacular effects can be produced on this
stage that have never been seen elsewhere.
These equipments cost $175,000, all of which
are fire-proof. The seats, which are arranged
so that everyone can have a clear view of the
stage, are both elegant and comfortable.
Three large mural paintings one placed over
the proscenium arch and one on each of the
side walls express, allegorically, growth and
decadence, the two great rhythms of nature.
The central painting consists mainly of figures,
and the side paintings are out-door scenes,
each containing but a solitary figure. Mr.
Louis H. Sullivan, one of the architects, says :

The direct expression of these paintings tends toward the mu-
sical, for that " the utterance of life is a song, the symphony of nature "
is the burden of the proscenium composition; in its " allegro " and
" adagio " are expressed the influence of music. The side paintings are


further expressive of the symphony of nature; for in them her tender
voice sings joyously or sadly to the attentive soul of the poet, awaken-
ing there those delicate, responsive harmonies whose name is inspira-
tion. On the side corresponding with the allegro of the central
painting is the " Spring Song," a scene at dawn within a wooded
meadow, by a gently running stream. The poet is abroad to greet
the lark; the pale tints of sunrise suffuse the landscape; the early tinge
of green is over all; the joy of this awakening life deeply touches the
wandering poet, who sings in ecstasy: " O soft, melodious springtime,
first-born of life and love."

The scene then changes to the side corresponding with the adagio.
Here is depicted the natural and calm decline of life. It is an autumn
reverie, the twilight, the symbol of decadence. The scene is of path-
less wilds, in gray, subsiding autumn, where brown leaves settle
through the air, descending one by one to join the dead, while winds,
adagio, breathe shrill funereal lamentations. Tired nature here, her
task performed, divested of her lovely many-colored garment, with-
draws behind a falling veil and sinks to sleep. Sadly musing, the
poet turns to descend into the deep and somber valley, conscious that
" A great life has passed into the tomb, and there awaits the requiem
of winter's snows."

Thus have all things their rise and decline, their dawn and twilight,
their spring song and their autumn reverie; and thus by their symbol-
ism do these mural poems suggest the compensating phases of nature
and of human life in all their varied manifestations. Naturally are
suggested the light and the grave in 'music, the joyous and the tragic
in drama.

The central painting, on its more conventional background of
gold, expresses in its many minor figures the manifold influence of
music on the human mind the dance, the serenade, the dirge; while
a deeper meaning, conveying the rhythmic significance of life's song,
is embodied in special groups and figures wholly symbolical in char-
acter. At the right is an altar on which burns the lambent flame of
life. Before it poses an exultant figure typifying the dawn of life, the
springtime of the race, the early flight of imagination. At the left
another altar is seen on which a fire is burning low and flickering
toward its end ; near it the type of twilight, of memory, tenderness
and compassion, stands with yearning, outstretched arms. The cen-


tral group signifies the present, the future and the past. The present,

Online LibraryC. DeanThe World's fair city and her enterprising sons → online text (page 2 of 27)