The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE COLUMBIAN ILLUMINATIONS - The photograph recalls to the minds of all who witnessed the illuminations of 1893, the splendors of the Administration Building and its environs in the Court of Honor. In the eye of the camera there is detailed, with thrilling fidelity, the balustrade of the first stage, the Ionic colonnade of the second stage, and the festoons and panels of the dome; but for the fires that burned their tiny points, or the flambeaux that flaunted their broader flames, or the arc - lights that made a thousand suns, we here must introduce a poor white background; and for the misty voyaging clouds that sailed upon the sapphire vault of Heaven, we here must hang a heavy sable pall. The octagonal dome, thus lit, was the particular beauty of the Fair; its corona realized some religious dream of diadems in paradise. On the strands of a gleaming lake, over the groves and the meadows, cheating the nightingale and the whippoorwills, undulating in the fragrant air of harvest eves, hastening the midnight time with speed too swift, this vision dwelt like butterfly upon a summer hour, and fled from out our world into the welcome recollections of grateful poets and faithful bards. And, while it burned at night, then Edison, the wizard who had summoned this same scene from out the hidden realms of nature - he came and looked across the waters and across the groves, and heard his own heart beating loud, and, mayhap, felt the love of men for him, and sorrow, too, that such a thing should pass away.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998