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Consumer’s Metropolis: The Loop in the Age of Daniel Burnham

Thursday, March 20
6 p.m.

A century ago Chicago was suddenly beset by a traffic crisis in the Loop. The streets and sidewalks were clogged with consumers seeking pleasure in the city’s elegant new department stores, hotels, restaurants, soda fountains, and theaters. In their search for a solution, civic officials and influential industrialists raised a particular outcry against lady shoppers. Emily A. Remus examines campaigns to sweep ladies out of the public space of Chicago’s downtown and illustrates how Daniel Burnham’s new plan for development ultimately created a consumers’ metropolis that pushed industry to the margins and opened up the Loop to the leisure class.

This lecture is part of the Driehaus Museum’s 2014 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program which serves to situate the Nickerson Mansion within the context of social artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to explore the Museum and its collections. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. As space is limited, advance reservations are highly recommended.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Emily A. Remus is a doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Chicago. She researches and teaches courses on urban history, gender history, and the history of capitalism. Her current project explores Chicago’s transformation into a modern consumer city in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An article drawn from this work is forthcoming in the Journal of American History.