On this day in 1871, a fire that started in a barn quickly spread through Chicago and burned 3.5 square miles of the city to the ground. The Newberry Library reminds us about this day in history on Facebook, and provided a map that shows the large chunk of Chicago that was destroyed during the disaster. The fire killed 300 people and left another 100,000 without homes, destroying much of what is downtown and the Near North Side today. However, Chicago quickly rebuilt and the city's famous architects had a blank canvas to work with to design and erect the world's first skyscrapers. Less than twenty years after the Great Chicago Fire, the city hosted the World's Columbian Exposition and introduced thousands to the White City.
·Timeline Photos [Newberry Library]
·Cool Map Thing archives [Curbed Chicago]