Among the exhibits at the Fair, each state had a "pavilion" with which to brag about themselves. In 1891, the Colorado General Assembly created a Colorado Board of World's Fair Managers. Members included Governor John L. Routt and a number of leading (and wealthy) Colorado men and women, along with several subject-matter experts such as the Secretary of the State Bureau of Horticulture, Dr. Alexander Shaw. Colorado apples were judged highly at the horticultural exhibits, according to the bureau's 1893 report. Among the other features of the Colorado pavilion was an educational exhibit, the planning for which is described in detail on pages 579-627 in the 1892 Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, available from our library. Other Colorado attractions included a re-creation of Mesa Verde and an exhibit of stuffed wildlife. The largest part of the Colorado pavilion, however, was a major exhibition on mining, being such a large part of the state's industry and economy. Just weeks after the close of the exhibition, however, Colorado's economy was devastated by the effects of the Crash of 1893. Colorado's exhibits were very much Western-themed. At this time, there was heightened interest in the West, and Frederick Jackson Turner presented his famous "Frontier Thesis," proclaiming the closing of the frontier, at the Fair.
The World's Columbian Exposition with its neoclassical architecture also hugely influenced the City Beautiful movement, which became popular in Colorado, especially under Mayor Speer's administration in the early 1900s. For example, the Fair's influence on the architecture of Civic Center Park, though built several decades after the exhibition, is evident. The Exposition attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over its six-month run, attracting visitors from all over the world and becoming a significant memory for many people. It also highly influenced American culture and commerce for decades to come.
|The Grand Court of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The architecture was temporary. (Credit: Wikipedia)|