Devil in the White City Essay

2654 Words Feb 28th, 2011 11 Pages
Devil in the White City written by Erik Larson is a true story based on the building of the most important fair in the United States of America, the 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago. Erik Larson also told the story of the psychopathic murderer; H.H. Holmes used his World’s Fair Hotel as an evil castle to lure in young women who came to see the fair. The story starts off with Larson describing that Chicago won the Congressional vote to host the World’s Fair and beat out its competition New York City. In only two short years, the White City was built. The fair brought in an estimated 40 million visitors in the only six months it was open. Daniel Burnham was the chief architect of the World’s Fair. Burnham had the staggering …show more content…
Burnham and his partner John Root were Chicago’s leading architects. Daniel Burnham had experience in designing buildings that had never been attempted. Despite the soil conditions, Burnham and Root built the very first skyscraper, The Montauk. Burnham had extraordinary managerial and organizational skills. Burnham and Root together were able to build their firm to be one of the best in Chicago. They continued to do many challenging projects such as the Rookery and the Monadnock. Daniel Burnham handled many difficult times before he made a positive name for himself. Burnham was also very good to all his employees, “He installed a gym. During lunch hour employees played handball. Burnham gave fencing lessons. Root played impromptu recitals on a rented piano,” (Larson 2003, 27). In 1885, a fire had destroyed the Grannis Block that was Burnham and Root’s flagship structure. In 1888, “a hotel they had designed in Kansas City collapsed during construction, injuring several men and killing one” (Larson 2003, 29). With all the verbal attacks on Burnham’s career over both of the incidences, he remained very calm, but he was still very heartbroken.
Daniel Burnham had to overcome many manmade and natural obstacles in building the World’s Fair. The most important obstacle Burnham had to overcome was time. He was only given three years to build the World’s Fair. Daniel Burnham hired four
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