201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL, USA
Millennium Park Chicago Reviews
Green space, art, and community gardens Aug 15, 2014
One of my favourite mornings in Chicago was spent wondering around Millennium Park and the numerous public gardens in the area. Millennium Park contains a number of great public art pieces, examples of great architecture, and regularly hosts free music events.
I loved the fact that so much of the downtown area had been preserved as green space. The space the Millennium Park occupies was maintained by the Illinois Central Railroad and prior to 1997 the area was filled with railroad tracks and parking lots. Through a public and private partnership the now 24.5 acre park was turned into a public space built on top of the 'unsightly' parking lots. Photographs of the transformation of the land can be seen in the Chicago Public Library Millennium Park Digital Collection.
The park is perhaps most well known for its inclusion of the work of architect Frank Gehry in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge. Both are beautiful structures and during my visit we took in a bit of the Grant Park Music Festival in the Pavilion.
The park also has a number of public art installations including Cloud Gate (aka the bean), Crown Fountain, and currently 1004 Portraits by Jaume Plensa is on by the Crown Fountain.
I was also enthralled by the integration of vegetables into the gardens of Millennium and Grant Park. A number of the main gardens and flower beds in Millennium Park contain corn, tomatoes, herbs and other veggies. When harvested the vegetables are being donated to local non-profits.
There were also a number of vegetable only gardens in other sections of the park. The community driven nature of these initiatives is inspiring. The Grant Park "Art in the Farm" urban agriculture project is managed by Growing Power which trains and employs at-risk youth in urban agriculture and community food system development. The gardens were both beautiful and practical. It was great to see people working in the gardens and actually engaging with the green space.
The prevalence of community gardens reminded me a lot of wartime community gardens that were started during WWII. In Chicago over 1,500 victory gardens were started in the city mostly by people who had never gardened before. An interesting comparison between the 1940s victory gardens and contemporary urban gardening can be seen here.
You can easily spend hours wondering around the parks in Chicago taking in the public art, gardens, and examples of community building.
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What a nice place is Millenium Park Jul 29, 2009
Free music! Fresh air! Lots of water! Nice view! Fine art!
What else could i ask for?
It's beautiful. I saw a latin jazz big band by young students that was awesome.
A band called Novalima, from Peru. Fantastic.
And Chicago's Filarmonic with Luciana Souza and the dance crew! FANTASTIC!
Millenniun park Jun 09, 2008
Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Avenue to the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North and Monroe Street to the South.
The park is open daily from 6am - 11pm. Admission is always free.
it offers dazzling music, art, landscape design and architecture – including the mammoth stainless-steel Cloud Gate sculpture – plus ice skating in the winter, splashing around in the interactive Crown Fountain during summer, and alfresco dining from spring to fall.
Since its opening in July 2004, Millennium Park has hosted millions of people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.
From the 1850s through the late 20th century, the site that is now occupied by Millennium Park was controlled by the Illinois Central Railroad. In Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago he considered the railroad property to be so untouchable that he developed the Grant Park portion of the plan around it.
PhotoConstruction began on Grant Park in 1917. The first areas to be constructed were the narrow strips between Michigan Avenue and the railroad tracks extending from Randolph Street to 11th Street. The original Peristyle was built at this time at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street.
With the completion of Grant Park, the railroad area remained a blight in its corner. In 1977 four Chicago civic groups proposed the "Lakefront Gardens for the Performing Arts." The proposed park, which included a performing arts pavilion, lacked both a funding strategy and significant government support. Ultimately, the Petrillo Music Shell was built in Grant Park as a compromise between the civic groups and the Chicago Park District.
In 1997 Mayor Richard M. Daley directed his staff to develop plans for a new music venue to be built over the active tracks and surface parking lot. What is now Millennium Park was first conceived in 1998 with the mission of creating new parkland in Grant Park to transform the unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots that had long dotted the lakefront. Over time, with Mayor Richard M. Daley's vision and Frank Gehry's involvement, the project evolved into the most ambitious public undertaking in Chicago's history.
Today, with its unprecedented combination of architecture, monumental sculpture and landscape design, the 24.5 acre Millennium Park has become the crowning achievement for Chicago in the tradition of its original founders.
Millennium Park is much more than just a park; it is the unprecedented celebration of architecture, sculpture and landscape design that has won acclaim from around the world.
Jul 05, 2007
The Cloud Gate, also known as "The Bean". It's a highly-polished reflective steel sculpture. Should try to walk inside and than a take a look of yourself...
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