The selected site was the land and water areas, under the jurisdiction of South
Park commissioners. It was located adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan between 12th and
39th streets. Located south of the Navy Pier in Chicago, the site of A Century of Progress
had 424 acres of lakeshore and was within walking distance of Chicago's downtown. The Fair
Grounds comprised of two man-made lagoons and Northerly Island.
The fair was opened on May 27, 1933, when the lights were
turned on with energy from the rays of the star Arcturus. The rays were focused on
photo-electric cells in a series of astronomical observatories and then transformed into
electrical energy which was transmitted to Chicago.
Unlike any fair before it, A Century of Progress celebrated
color and lighting. The architecture of the fair was drawn was influenced by great
depression of the time. Rather than focusing on architecture, the fair focused on
scientific and technological progress and the manufacturing processes behind them.
The "A Century of Progress Exposition" was a
unheralded success and hosted over 48 million visitors in two years it ran. It provided an
uplifting glimpse into a future of embodied by technology while honoring the achievements