The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City

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Burnham’s partner at the beginning of the World’s Fair, John Root is widely regarded as the more creative and imaginative member of the partnership. He is instrumental in developing the neoclassical aesthetic of the World’s Fair, though after his tragic death, Burnham takes his place as the major creative force at the exposition.
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John Root Character Timeline in The Devil in the White City

The timeline below shows where the character John Root appears in The Devil in the White City. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2: The Trouble is Just Begun
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...Tribune sit Chicago’s two most important architects, Daniel Burnham, aged 43, and his partner, John Root, 40. Despite their enormous reputation, having built the first building ever to be called a... (full context)
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...his passion as a draftsman at an architectural firm. His father introduced him to John Root, a draftsman with whom he quickly became partners. (full context)
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Root and Burnham made their name designing a mansion for John B. Sherman, a wealthy superintendent... (full context)
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Root and Sherman built the Montauk, the first building in the world to be called a... (full context)
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Root and Burnham’s success encourages a wave of building and design in Chicago, and they become... (full context)
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...the World’s Columbian Exposition Company to organize and pay for the fair, while Burnham and Root are given architectural control over the fair. Their task is daunting: essentially, they have to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: Becomingness
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...October 12, 1892, while the formal opening is set for May 1, 1893. Burnham and Root have only 26 months to complete their projects. (full context)
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...who has previously served four terms and is running for another. Ironically, Burnham, Harrison, and Root are all notorious drinkers. (full context)
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...30, the board of the World’s Columbian Exposition Company appoints Burnham chief of construction — Root is the supervising architect and Olmsted is the supervising landscape architect. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Pilgrimage
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...York for the most important step in the construction of the World’s Fair. He and Root have already designed towers and various other buildings for the event, but they know that... (full context)
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...families. Burnham feels out of place. He never attended an elite university and doesn’t have Root or Olmsted to back him up, and his direct manner doesn’t impress his guests. The... (full context)
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Root travels to New York, where he meets with Burnham’s five architects, but has little more... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: The Landscape of Regret
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Root, who is 43, charms the Eastern architects. Traveling so much in the previous months has... (full context)
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Except for Root, who is too tired, the architects attend an extravagant dinner. Reporters accost them for information... (full context)
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...their designs ugly and plain. Chicago architects will be the key force in the Fair. Root goes home before the dinner begins; although it is a cold night, he walks outside... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 10: Alone
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On January 12, 1891, Burnham invites Eastern and Chicago architects to his library; Root is absent. Burnham is aware that the Eastern architects are still reluctant to work on... (full context)
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Shortly after the meeting, Burnham learns that Root has pneumonia and is bedridden. For the next few weeks, Burnham is absent from the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: Convocation
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...use plaster and jute on the exteriors of all structures. Burnham hires a replacement for Root named Charles Atwood, a colorful opium addict who he thinks is a genius. Burnham places... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3: Vexed
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...special foundations will have to be built far below the surface. These foundations, designed by Root, work for the most part — but not in the area where the heaviest building... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7: Dedication Day
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...unfinished. The space is so enormous that it’s difficult to hear anything. Harriet Monroe, John Root’s sister in law, composes a long poem for the Ceremony, but no one can hear... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Night is the Magician
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Burnham leads tours of the World’s Fair for guests, including John Root’s widow, Dora. He is careful to lead the tours in a specific direction, so that... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 21: Nightfall
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...a carriage, and thinks that the World’s Fair has begun and ended with deaths — Root’s and Harrison’s. A chorus from the United German Singing Societies performs for the occasion —... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 1: The Fair
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...eventually he received honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale. He resented the claim that John Root had been the true creative genius behind the World’s Fair — in reality, Root’s tragic... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 2: Recessional
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Theodore Dreiser marries Sara Osborne White, and cheats on her frequently. Dora Root, John Root’s widow, remains enormously depressed in the years following his death. She had loved... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 4: Aboard the Olympic
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Margaret and Daniel Burnham are buried together in Graceland, Chicago, near Sullivan, Root, and Mayor Harrison. (full context)