The Devil in the White City

A White City, also known as the 1893 World's Exposition arose in a blossoming part of America, known as Chicago. Many people were afraid the Exposition would be no better than a county fair, because they believed that Chicago was an uncultured city. This beautifully temporary metropolis wrested from the Swamps of Jackson Park, Chicago. It was named ?The White City? celebrating Columbus' discovery of America. The architect firm of Daniel Burnham and John Root was given the task of creating the Exposition grounds. They encountered two major problems: the location and the design of the Exposition. It seemed to be an impossible task. As soon as one challenge was met, three more would arise. They faced many challenges in creating a replica Eiffel Tower and the continued possibility of strikes from the workers of various committees. Everything was always behind schedule.
The architects from New York, Boston, Chicago and St Louis stepped up to the challenge. The workers felt the patriotic spirit and worked hard to complete the job. Burnham and his crew partially completed the exposition grounds for the Dedication Ceremony. Rallying against harsh weather, red tape, ill heath and death, the crew made Opening Day a reality. On Opening Day, the team still had a few tasks left to accomplish. The Ferris wheel, America's response to the 264-foot high Eiffel Tower, opened 51 days late. With determination to outdo the World?s Fair in Paris, bills stacked up. Maintenance continued for the first six months that the fair was open. With many unemployed, the fair provided temporary relief for many poor families. The arrival of novelties like zippers, Cracker Jacks and Chicago's first glimpse of a belly dancer brought excitement to many.
Despite all the good, there was evil with Dr. Henry Holmes as he had his own master plan for ?The Castle? at the corner of 63rd and Wallace. He was a young, handsome sociopath trained in medicine, with a taste for torture and murder. Dr. Holmes was a master at manipulating both people and paper work. In the process of building, he would inspect and always find fault in the quality of work. This aggravation allowed flows of workers in and out, so each worker would not see the building?s entirety. No one understood what his ultimate plan was to lure young women into horrifying traps to satisfy his demonic desires. The innocent women had just moved to Chicago to find jobs and move out from under the watchful eyes of their family. They were persuaded to stay at the World?s Fair Hotel, so he could perform his evil tasks. Many were never seen again. The hotel was a bleak and ugly building. Within there were trap doors, secret passages, and a wooden slide that descended to an iron vault in the basement. The vault was used to incinerate all evidence of his horrific deeds. Dr. Holmes would seduce women before and then kill them and their children. He continued this hobby until the closing of the Exposition. It was approximated that almost 200 men, women and children were tortured and killed. However, the courts could only prove nine actual killings. Many would say this murder madness changed America.