The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  BURNING OF THE COLD-STORAGE WAREHOUSE - At the southwest corner of the "improved" portion of Jackson Park stood a large cold-storage warehouse, covered with staff, and bearing the typical appearance of an Exposition building, save that it was without windows, except on a line near the cornice. The structure was severely rectangular in its ground plan, and in the center there rose a square tower, made of wood, from the middle of which a sheet-iron smoke-stack protruded, and belched black smoke over the grounds. It was destined that the ill-omened, ill-built, and doubly-dangerous house (for its upper floor was intended to be used as a skating-rink) should furnish the calamity of the Fair of 1893. Shortly after noon of Monday, the 10th of July, fire was discovered in the top of this tower, and about twenty-five of Chicago's bravest and most experienced firemen were soon on the platform of observation that had been built near the summit. No sooner had they reached this elevation, however, than flames broke forth beneath them; and, as the tower was made of pine and plaster, which had been dried both by sun outside and hot sheet-iron chimneys within, it burned fiercely. A moment later, and in the presence of at least fifty thousand horrified spectators, an explosion of gases followed, the roof heaved and gave way, the men leaped over the bulwarks, and sixteen perished almost instantly, falling into a pit of gaseous flame. About $100,000 were subscribed for the families of the victims, and the committee was criticised for the deliberation with which this money was apportioned.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998