Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The land for Jackson Park and its sister Washington Park was set aside in the 1870's. The area was originally a "rough, tangled stretch of bog and dune" until it was transformed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of New York City's Central Park.
Jackson Park's moment in the sun was the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. For this event, hundreds of acres of undeveloped park was turned into the spectacular, but temporary, Beaux Arts "White City."
Everything from the World's Columbian Exposition has been demolished except the old Palace of Fine Arts, which is now the Museum of Science and Industry and the Japanese garden on the Wooded Isle.
Sites worth visiting are the pleasant Osaka Garden, the Jackson Park Golf Course, the gilded Daniel Chester French statue Republic (a replica of a much larger statue built for the Columbian Exposition), and several lagoons, one of which features the Wooded Isle.
Jackson Park is connected by the Midway Plaisance to Washington Park. In accordance with a canal that Olmsted wanted built between the two parks, a long excavation was made on the Midway; but water has never been allowed in.
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