The Golden Lady

Mother Goose and her daring companion left the “Wooded Island” with all of its many wonders and began the search for “The Golden Lady”. This statue proved to be an elusive one to locate, despite the fact that we actually had an address for it. We wandered endlessly throughout the Jackson Park area and then out of the park and into some sketchy neighborhoods, all in vain. We walked and walked until the rubbery feet of Mother Goose could barely keep slapping the pavement.

Now please be patient and quiet as we consider the background of this statue.

The statue of The Republic was the work of Daniel Chester French. During the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, it stood in the middle of the beautiful Grand Basin and the Court of Honor, facing the rising sun. She was sixty-five feet tall, towering over the gondolas and ships and people who floated about the basin and strolled the court.

She was astonishing and breathtaking in gold plating.

A famous view of the Court of Honor, the statue of The Republic and the Grand Basin. Mother Goose was not there…

Of course, after the fair was over, The White City was burned to the ground. I imagine the statue would have collapsed into the water and crumbled to mud in due course. But here’s the good news! The same sculptor remembered how he made the original statue of the Republic, and in 1918 he rebuilt her on a smaller scale (24 feet instead of 65 feet), covered her in gold again and set her up in Jackson Park, very near to where the original might have stood.

And finally Mother Goose and Husband Goose found her!

And took many pictures of her! (maybe more than you’d ever want or need to see…)

Gleaming in the setting sun, The Republic stands.

She stands much taller than this old goose.

Her back to me, she continues looking eastward, ever eastward, into the future.

The Golden Lady is a sight for sore eyes! Daniel Chester French completed this work to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fair and also the centennial of statehood for Illinois.

Of course, it’s difficult to imagine that it took us nearly an hour to find The Golden Lady. We are just gooses, after all…

I hope this trip back in time to The White City has been interesting to you, dear readers.

Please come back tomorrow for more of the adventures of Mother Goose on her summer vacation. You won’t want to miss the wombat…

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. HankeringforHistory
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:18:27

    Excellent pictures!

    Reply

  2. Bunn
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:19:52

    What an interesting part if history! Thank you so much for taking us there! I loved it!

    Reply

  3. ChgoJohn
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 17:19:21

    Thank you for this series, Natalie. I’ve been in Michigan where you can forget about 3G or 4G. Heck! I doubt if we had 2G! Anyway, I couldn’t comment as I would have liked but thoroughly enjoyed these posts nonetheless. Such a loss to The City when the White City burned. At least some of it endures in the photographs. A few years earlier and even that wouldn’t have been the case. Thanks, too, for providing some prime examples. I never tire of looking at them.

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 07:46:34

      John, thank you for your kind remarks. What a glorious place it must have been… I have to ask, “Where is your fave historic spot in the great city of Chicago?” Maybe I need to explore it.

      Reply

      • ChgoJohn
        Aug 01, 2012 @ 10:38:19

        There is so much here to enjoy, Natalie. A personal favorite is the Chicago Cultural Center on the corner of Washington and Michigan Ave. Built just before the turn of the last century, it features a beautiful Tiffany dome. You may recall if from the chase scene in the movie The Untouchables, where Eliot Ness chased Frank Nitty, guns blazing, up a marble staircase and onto the roof, tossing the felon onto a car below. The building eventually fell out of use, becoming a storehouse for the library, It was eventually renovated and repurposed as our Cultural Center. Now it hosts a variety of events and a number of concerts, all free to the public. When I worked in The Loop, I often spent my Wednesday lunch hour listening to free concerts in Bradley Hall and have been to a few ceremonies hosted by former Mayor Daley there. If you’re planning on going there, be sure to see what events are scheduled. You may be able to catch a performance of a string quartet or similar ensemble. Sorry this took so long. Feel free to edit/delete it if you like.

  4. Three Well Beings
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 01:36:36

    She is really stunning! I think I’ll probably like her better than a wombat, but you never know! Debra

    Reply

  5. yearstricken
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 11:12:25

    She looks much better in her original location. How sad that they drained that lake.

    Reply

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