Thursday, June 9, 2011

☞ REMEMBER: The 1883 World's Fair Proposal

An old archival map published in Demorest's Illustrated Monthly magazine from 1879 shows that one of the original World's Fair sites had been planned from the areas of Morningside Height and well into Manhattanville. Morningside Park can be seen at the lower left hand corner and there would have been some sort of Beaux Arts palace built within the green space.  Note that Columbia's future campus site would have been the main fair ground dominated by large Crystal Palaces and that the diagonal street at the right is basically 125th Street with the Hudson in the horizon.

This was probably around the same time that all the speculators had their eye on Harlem for development so a lot of mixed interest would have collided (the park was still in its planning phase). Apparently the fair never got financed in New York City for that year but the one in Chicago a decade later would have provided a glimpse of what could have been: LINK. Map print via Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

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