|Daniel Burnham was
one of the leading architects of the later 19th century. He was a leader in the design and
construction of skyscrapers, especially in Chicago. In 1890, Burnham was chosen to oversee
the 1893 Colombian Exhibition. He was responsible for establishing the overall vision of
the Fair. He worked with Olmsted to come up with the basic design as well as working with
various architects to come up with the public buildings that surrounded the area.
Burnham was also a major force in the growing City Beautiful
movement. He was heavily influenced by L'Efant's original design for Washington, DC. He
favored the designers use of long diagonal streets and traffic circles, to the traditional
grid format. One of his greatest plans was to revamp San Francisco, replacing the grid
layout with grand avenues. In 1902, he joined Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and others in
bring City Beautiful to Washington, DC. As a member of the McMillan Commission, he helped
redefine the Mall area of the capitol, returning to it an aura of formality and respect
that had been lost over time.
Burnham's final great plan, was redesigning Chicago. In
1909, Burnham submitted a 164 page report to the Chicago Commercial Club. The report urged
returning the City's viewpoint to Lake Michigan. He also urged creating grand public
spaces, and connecting the City to the growing suburbs around it.