In The Devil in the White City, I have questions that were not very clear to answer in the book: 1) What was the previous site of the World's Fair and what was its lasting monument? 2) What was...

In The Devil in the White City, I have questions that were not very clear to answer in the book:

1) What was the previous site of the World's Fair and what was its lasting monument?

2) What was the difference in the experience between the Fair and the Midway; why was there tension between the two?

3) Why did the Ferris Wheel appear three months after the fair opened?

4) Who got fired from Sullivan and Alder for moonlighting with residential clients during the Fair?

Expert Answers
lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The World's Fair in Paris, 1889, occurred four years before the Chicago World's Fair. The Eiffel Tower had been constructed for the Paris Exhibition and had been intended to be temporary. Luckily, the people of Paris left it standing. In Chicago the planners knew they would be compared with Paris and wanted a large symbol like Paris had. They contracted with George Ferris to build an immense wheel which would come to be named for him. The Ferris Wheel was huge; it could carry over 2,000 people at a time. It opened after the Fair due to difficulties in building such a large, moving structure--especially in the heavy winds that Chicago has.

The Ferris Wheel was part of the Midway. There was tension between the people planning the Midway and those planning the White City due to the difference in what each wanted the Fair to be. The White City was supposed to be a dignified, classy experience showing human progress; this was at odds with the Midway which was more about fun, and demonstrations of such "low-brow" entertainment as belly dancing.

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America's most famous architects, was fired from Sullivan and Adler during the Fair. He had a five year contract that specified he was not to do outside work. Wright later claimed he was unaware that he was not supposed to do outside work, but it is unclear whether this was true or not.

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The Devil in the White City

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