Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Early Thoughts on Remaking Chicago
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Below are portions of some of Daniel Burnham's speeches in the late 1890s on redesigning his own city. These refer to his plans at that time for the lakefront.

Speech to the Park Commissioners


As indicated in the handwritten annotation, this is the first page of Burnham's after-dinner speech at the home of South Parks Commission President James Ellsworth and other commissioners on October 10, 1896.

Speech to the Commercial Club


A much-corrected page from a speech before the Commercial Club, most likely on March 27, 1897. Similar praise for Haussmann's Paris and Pericles's Athens would appear in the opening chapter of the Plan of Chicago .

Letter to John B. Sherman


In this letter to his father-in-law, Burnham explains his motives for wishing to work on Chicago planning and expresses the hope that Sherman can attend yet another speech by Burnham in support of remaking the lakefront.