KSBB and the City Beautiful Movement

In anticipation for Friday’s kick-off event, “White City Principles in Northern Indiana Cities”, we at KSBB thought we’d provide some background to our topic. 

The title of the presentation refers to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, called the White City because the buildings were made of a white stucco, which, in comparison to the tenements of Chicago, seemed illuminated (also because of the extensive use of street lights).  It was this impact that inspired L. Frank Baum’s take on the Emerald City in “The Land of Oz” and Walt Disney’s theme parks. 

Notably though, it was the recognized start to the “City Beautiful Movement”, which spawned a new appreciation for public spaces in the United States.  It was the design approach taken at the Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair, that brought about many of the recognizable public plans in the US, specifically the McMillan Commission Plan for Washington DC and Daniel Barnum’s renowned plan for Chicago.

The City Beautiful Movement had four main components: Civic Art, Civic Design, Civic Reform, and Civic Improvement.  Not merely a bit of aestheticism, each of these aspects was aimed at uplifting society through communal benefits.  A perspective echoed in the mission of KSBB which unites people to build community, improve health, and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement.

Hopefully, this entices you to join us on April 1st for the great presentation sought to energize all in attendance toward more civic engagement.  We look forward to so many encouraging events taking place this April across Indiana (and the United States) and we are excited to be at the epicenter of such a powerful movement in our local community.


About Jonathon Geels

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