Stepping into the new Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit is like stepping back in time. You get that sense of Old Chicago – what it must have been like to be in a city that felt new, massive, and booming, even then.
The exhibit gives you a whirlwind tour, sure. You won’t be able to see even a significant fraction of all the goods & wares, peoples & places, inventions & wonders that graced her gates. But you will get enough of a window to satisfy you in the moment.
What we liked best about the exhibit was the total impression it gives you. You really do get a sense of the city at the turn of the 19th century and what it must have been like to see such things. It seemed the entire world embraced Chicago and Chicago, in turn, embraced the world.
We enjoyed the stories of people coming to the fair, both workers and tourists. A lot of them sold off some of their own belongings just for a glimpse at what could be seen of the things now on display at The Field. These personal stories and effects from people will leave you with a sense of awe.
You’ll also get to see stories behind the fair (a good complement to the popular book Devil in the White City by Erik Larson). You’ll start to understand just how enormous it must have been and felt, even for the Chicagoans who built it.
On top of these personal touches and history lessons, you’ll see plenty of the quality pieces you come to expect from a production of The Field Museum including animals, fossils, gems, inventions, old photographs, elixers, and oddities from all over the world – which is really saying something when you think about it. Most people hadn’t been outside their little local communities, let alone traveled abroad. You’ll capture some of what they must have experienced just by walking through the exhibit’s doors.
If you are a fan of history, of unique experiences, or even just of Chicago, we highly recommend visiting The Field Museum for your own satisfaction. You won’t be sorry.
And if you need a place to stay, feel free to look us up – www.rivernorthhotel.com. We’re happy to offer Free Parking as well as Discounted Tickets to the museum.