News & Info

South Parks History

Phase 2 – 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

May 15, 2016

South Parks History

Olmsted helped select the location of the fairgrounds, stressing that views of Lake Michigan should provide the backdrop for the fair and noting the unfinished state of Jackson Park. Rising from the ashes of the 1871 Great Fire, he recommended holding the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 there.

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Why Cherry Blossom Trees in Jackson Park?

Why Cherry Blossom Trees in Jackson Park?

April 21, 2016

South Parks History

Over 120 cherry blossom trees were planted to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the gift of the Phoenix Pavilion, and renew Chicago's commitment made to Japan in 1893 and again in 1935 to preserve the site as a place for visitors to learn about Japan and experience and explore Japanese culture. 

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1893 Dedication of the Phoenix Pavilion on the Wooded Island

1893 Dedication of the Phoenix Pavilion on the Wooded Island

March 31, 2016

South Parks History

On March 31, 1893, Japanese and Americans gathered together in the heartland of America, on the Wooded Island in Chicago, to prepare for the opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition. They gathered to celebrate the arrival of a Phoenix that would take the form of a pavilion, which they hoped would teach the world about Japan, and, in turn, would lead us to learn about each other and ourselves. For the past 120 years, enduring through the highs and lows in the U.S.-Japan relationship, Chicago has maintained the site of the Phoenix Pavilion on the Wooded Island as a place for Americans to experience Japanese culture.

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Video | "Sono's Journey"

Video | "Sono's Journey"

October 12, 2015

South Parks History

Watch the video and learn about Sono Osato and her roots in Chicago, including her family's extraordinary connection to the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park during the 1930s.

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Video | The Garden of the Phoenix Introduction

March 31, 2015

South Parks History

The Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park is one of the most important sites in the United States reflecting over 120 years of U.S.-Japan relations. Establsihed in 1893, the site of the original Phoenix Pavilion is being reimagined today as SKY LANDING by Yoko Ono.

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