World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893: Burnham and Holmes Ride 2012


Greg lectures in front of the Great Lakes fountain of Laredo Taft at the AIC.

Greg Borzo led a ride like the one the day before with Anne Alt in search of Architectural Beauty. This time rather than the stately gardens and gates of Beverly Hills we toured the downtown area of Chicago and then headed south to Hyde Park to witness some of the splendor that was the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Along the way Greg like Anne illumination the backgrounds and meaning of the architectural sites we saw and the men and women who helped create them.

The group was some 18 riders strong and were from various parts of the Chicago and Suburban areas. Riders were on virtually every type of bicycle imaginable from folders to cruisers and even high end racing bikes. But everyone had a common purpose… To brave the elements and to see and learn about the grand tradition of architecture here in the Windy City.

Given the upcoming visit of the economic summit members it was poignant to realize that our great city has been through an upheaval that placed us in the world’s spotlight more than once in the past. Despite the weather being a bit chilly Greg kept the group focused on the architecture and was ably assisted in this by the frequent “on point” comments from Anne Alt.

By the time we reached the Hyde Park area it was growing cloudier and colder and Connie and I decided not to chance being caught in a downpour. We had been amiss is that we did not have with us all of the necessary rain gear we needed. But turning around before the ride was over we made it to within a few blocks of our van and pulled into the parking lot happy that we were at least wise enough to park indoors!

Another great day with Chicago Cycling Club docents of the first order. The premise for the tour is the book Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson.

Cyclometer Info
Distance: 21.3 miles
Time: 2h 10m 18s