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Take a virtual trip to 1893’s White City at the Museum of Science and Industry

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The two-day exhibit coincides with the 125th anniversary of the World’s Columbian Exposition

The virtual flyover tour features the legendary buildings of Chicago’s world-famous 1893 White City.
Image by Urban Simulation Team/Museum of Science and Industry

This weekend, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry invites guests to “revel in the White City” with a temporary exhibit showcasing a virtual recreation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Digitally reconstructed by UCLA’s Dr. Lisa Snyder and narrated by local historian Tim Samuelson, the exhibit will let visitors experience the revolutionary architecture, inventions, and cultural attractions that elevated Chicago to center place on the world stage 125 years ago.

Although the museum has presented Snyder’s recreation as a temporary exhibit in years past, each annual installment of the 3D model gets larger and more detailed as the architectural historian expands the scope of her research.

This year’s theme is “Curiosities of the Fair” and will explore items that were curious for the time such as cooking with electricity as well as everlasting oddities like a medieval knight statue made entirely of prunes.

There’s arguably no better place to learn about the Chicago’s bygone White City than Jackson Park’s Museum of Science and Industry. The grand structure was built as the exposition’s Palace of Fine Arts and—unlike the fair’s more fragile, plaster-clad buildings—managed to withstand the test of time.

The 90-minute presentation is scheduled for Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 with a time group entrance taking place at 1:00 p.m. on both days. Tickets cost $25 on top of basic museum admission.

The upcoming weekend is a particularly busy one for fans of Chicago history and architecture. Saturday is Preservation Chicago’s endangered buildings bus tour, an event that will also make a stop at historic Jackson Park.

The annual Wright Plus architectural housewalk is also scheduled for Saturday. Tickets for this Frank Lloyd Wright Trust-organized event are still available and can be picked up at a $25 discount per pair using the code ‘Plus25OFF.’