So, people may already know about this, but after reading a book about the 1893 World's Fair, it all started to come together for me:
In 1893, the World's Fair came to Chicago, and at the time it was hailed "as important as an event in America as the Civil War". Developers created a gleaming city of the future; dubbed, the White City. This was truly the era of steam punk, and is clearly the main inspiration for Bioshock: Infinite. Tesla, Westinghouse, and Edison were all presenting their new electric generators and light bulbs. Huge steam engines towed in exhibitions from around the world! The first ever Ferris Wheel was open to ride. And America's first modern serial Killer, H H Holmes, used all of this excitement to bring in unsuspecting victims to his hotel, where there is evidence that he murdered as many as 250 people before being caught.
What is most important, was the official title of the fair, the World's Columbian Exposition, named because it marked the 400th anniversary since Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. Check out the
So, just how in the original Bioshock we visited Rapture, an underwater city that gave scientists, artists, and visionaries the freedom to invent and experiment.... Columbia in Bioshock Infinite seems to have been built by The Founders who wanted the turn of the century feel of the 'White City' to last forever!
The Worlds Columbian Expo wikipedia page offers some interesting photographs of the World Fair, and you'll instantly see how the architecture and grandeur of the whole event has lent itself so well to this fabulous upcoming game!