Monday, December 03, 2007

City Beautiful

Orlando and Coral Gables have the same nickname, which led to a little trouble. Not that the two places are easily confused, but everyone likes to feel special. But why would two totally different cities pick the same, somewhat awkward name -- "The City Beautiful"?

For the same reason that many other cities across the nation chose it as well -- the name comes from the City Beautiful Movement, a Progressive reform movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As cities grew, so did the problems of urban life, such as poor sanitation and crime. Greatly simplified, the City Beautiful's proponents thought that a clean and attractive city would create more prosperity. Beaux Arts architecture typifies public buildings of this time and this movement. An early and particularly well-known expression of City Beautiful was Daniel Burham's White City at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

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