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The White City, as the fair was nicknamed, was largely conceived through the vision of lead architect Daniel Burnham. He championed the neoclassical style that dominated the architecture of the fair buildings, and he had a special talent for planning urban spaces. His vision not only encompassed the look of the buildings themselves, but it included the sidewalks, waterways, bridges, parks, and monumental sculptures and fountains. More importantly, it was how all of these elements complemented each other and created an environment that was not only visually stunning, but was functionally just as impressive in the fact that it could accommodate hundreds of thousands of visitors moving about. This was a stark contrast to the actual cities of the time that were not well planned and tended to be dirty, congested, and not very safe for pedestrians. The Columbian Exposition was a huge success for Daniel Burnham, and his vision for urban planning would be adopted in big cities throughout America.

Bancroft, Hubert Howe. The Book of the Fair. Chicago: The Bancroft Company, 1893. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

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