WBEZ | World's Columbian Exhibition http://www.wbez.org/tags/worlds-columbian-exhibition Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Sakura in Chicago: 120 Years of US-Japan Relations http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/sakura-chicago-120-years-us-japan-relations-107869 <p><p>Since the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago has maintained The Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park as a place where visitors can learn about Japan and experience Japanese culture, opening the doors for vibrant economic, political, and cultural exchange. 120 years later, the garden is an enduring symbol of collaboration and diplomacy between Chicago and Japan. Join The Chicago Council&rsquo;s panel of policy and urban architecture experts to explore the progress of the physical and political landscapes of our city and to celebrate the blooming fruits of the seeds of diplomacy.</p><div><strong>Josh Rogin</strong> is a senior staff writer and the author of daily web column, &ldquo;<em>The Cable</em>,&rdquo; at Foreign Policy, covering national security and foreign policy. Previously, he covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, US-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Kulapat Yantrasast</strong> is the cofounder and principal of wHY Architecture which began in 2003. In 2007, wHY completed the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan, which became the first new LEED Gold museum in the world. Current projects include the expansion and renovation of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and a series of gallery design and collection installations at the Harvard Art Museum.</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CCGA-webstory_14.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>Recorded live Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.</div></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 15:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/sakura-chicago-120-years-us-japan-relations-107869 NYC wants a turn: Big Apple seeks to build world's largest Ferris wheel http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/nyc-wants-turn-big-apple-seeks-build-worlds-largest-ferris-wheel-102799 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11623966-standard.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The world&#39;s largest Ferris Wheel &mdash; four times the size of the one at Navy Pier&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;is being planned for a shoreline site on New York&#39;s Staten Island, according to the New York City&#39;s mayor&#39;s office.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The 625 ft. tall wheel would have views of Manhattan and would feature an outlet mall, retail and a hotel. The mayor&#39;s office said private funds were being raised to finance the $230 million project. The &quot;New York Wheel&quot; is expected to hold more than 1,000 passengers. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014. In an Associated Press story on the wheel&#39;s announcement, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said the big device would be &quot;Staten Island&#39;s Eiffel Tower.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;This is a<em> very </em>big wheel,&quot; NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during its announcement last week. The idea was among proposals the city solicited for the site.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Good luck to the Big Apple. But Chicago did the same thing&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;even referring to the Eiffel Tower as comparison, 119 years ago. The Ferris wheel debuted here as a signature piece of the famed 1893 World&#39;s Fair. Built in the fair&#39;s midway &mdash;&nbsp;the present day Midway Plaisance that runs past the University of Chicago campus&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;the spinning 264 ft. colossus was only about 40 ft. shorter than downtown&#39;s Masonic Temple, then world&#39;s tallest building.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The wheel was the brainchild of George Washington Gale Ferris, a 34-year-old engineer. His idea was well-received by world&#39;s fair planners who wanted an attraction that rivaled the Eiffel Tower, which had been the darling of the 1889 Exposition Universelle in France. Here&#39;s the Ferris Wheel at the fair. The gondolas were as big as present day &quot;L&quot; train cars:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/photo_ferris_wheel_chicago.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">After the fair, the wheel was dismantled and reassembled at Clark and Wrightwood where it was to be the titular attraction of the planned Ferris Wheel Park, a venture not unlike the one planned for Staten Island. The park would have included a theater, restaurant and other attractions, but it never materialized.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The wheel was re-erected in 1904 for St. Louis&#39; world&#39;s fair, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The engineering marvel sat abandoned for a year after the fair closed. It was demolished in 1906, courtesy of 200 lbs. of dynamite.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But the wheel&#39;s allure remained. For more than a century after its destruction, the Ferris Wheel has become a mainstay of carnivals, fair grounds and amusement parks across the world. The 541ft. Singapore Flyers is currently the world&#39;s largest Ferris wheel. The 150ft Navy Pier Ferris Wheel is the 9th largest wheel in the U.S.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/nyc-wants-turn-big-apple-seeks-build-worlds-largest-ferris-wheel-102799 Paderewski's piano: A story of the World's Fair http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/paderewskis-piano-story-worlds-fair-98470 <p><p>On May 1, 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition opened in Jackson Park. One forgotten story of the fair is the tale of Paderewski's piano.</p><p>Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish-born pianist. In 1893, at 32, he was already the world’s most famous musician. But there was more to him than skill at the keyboard. Paderewski had sex appeal.</p><p>Women jammed the concert hall for his performances. Some of them fainted when he played. A few even fainted when they saw him on the street. One newspaper came up with a name for the phenomenon–"Paddymania."</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/05-01--Paderewski%20cartoon.jpg" style="height: 354px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Cartoon on the piano dispute (author's collection)"></div><p>At the end of April, Paderewski was just finishing a series of Chicago concerts, and was about to leave for Europe. Conductor Theodore Thomas asked him to stay around for a week to play at the fair. Paderewski agreed to do it, without fee. Everything was set.</p><p>Then the fair’s bureaucrats got into the act. Paderewski performed on Steinway pianos. Steinway was not an exhibitor at the fair. Therefore, Paderewski would have to use one of the “official” pianos.</p><p>Paderewski refused. He said a musician should be free to select his own instrument. He had signed a contract to use only Steinway pianos. Besides, the company had been good to him and he was loyal.</p><p>The dispute hit the front pages and stayed there. Negotiations went on behind closed doors. A compromise was suggested, where Paderewski would alternate between a Steinway and one of the other pianos. He wouldn’t budge.</p><div><p>Many newspapers thought he was being a temperamental prima donna, and said so. Theodore Thomas angrily reminded everyone that Paderewski had already delayed his departure from Chicago. The pianist was also offering to play for free, when he might have demanded several thousand dollars.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/05-01--Opening%20Day%20%28LofC%29.jpg" style="height: 311px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Opening Day at the Fair (National Archives)"></div></div><p>Now the arguments became more heated. President Cleveland was coming to Chicago to open the fair. Maybe the President could settle the piano problem.</p><p>Finally, fair officials gave in. Paderewski performed on his Steinway–brilliantly, as usual.</p><p>Paderewski continued his concert career until his death in 1941. Along the way, he served as the first Prime Minister of an independent Poland, and later starred in a feature film.</p><p>He loved Chicago, and often returned. He said that three things in America impressed him–Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and the City of Chicago. Today the Polish Museum of America maintains a Paderewski Room filled with memorabilia. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the artist’s personal piano.</p><p>It’s a Steinway, of course.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/M9IBBd-9aRM" width="420"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 01 May 2012 10:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/paderewskis-piano-story-worlds-fair-98470