Seeing the Past in 3-D in Chicago, Illinois
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 cleared huge tracts of space and spurred construction projects that would establish Chicago as a center of industry and modernity. This romantic account is steeped in American mythology: Chicago the phoenix, risen from the ashes in pursuit of progress. But it fails to capture the sting of loss felt by Chicago's citizens when the fire consumed, in a day, what they had worked years to build. The Chicago History Museum, nestled in the southwest corner of Lincoln Park, celebrates Chicago's golden years while preserving accounts and artifacts from the city that were nearly forgotten. Lifelike dioramas depicting Chicago's evolution from fur-trading post to manufacturing powerhouse have been on display since the 1930s. The collection itself is a historic landmark in record-keeping, appropriate for a city that is too keenly aware of loss to leave out any details.