The newly (July 2004) park along the lake on Michigan Avenue, north of Grant Park and between Monroe and Randolph, is a stunning sight and an architectural wonder.
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion (a.k.a. bandshell) has a design that's out of this world, and now, instead of big speakers in front, the speakers are in metallic cable-type structures overhead.
The Wrigley Square and Millennium Monument (the pavilion greeting you from the northern end) is a replica of the pavilion that stood from 1917 to 1953.
The two most visited sites in the park are surely the sculpture by Kapoor, whose name is 'unofficially' the bean, or the kidney bean. It's a shiny metallic bean that reflects the park, the skyline and the people. You can even see it from a plane sparkling along the lakefront.
The other is the Crown Fountain, which takes fountains to a whole new level.
Summer 2004 saw the long-awaited unveiling of Millennium Park, Chicago's new urban playground, crucially located on the front steps of the metropolis, adjacent to the Loop and next door to Michigan Avenue. One of the central components of the Park is the Frank Gehry-designed Bandshell, officially named (after a big bucks donor) the Pritzker Pavillion. Frank Gehry - architecture's wunderkind - makes his Chicago debut here with one of the most "high profile" public commissions imaginable. It's very appropriate that Chicago should give allow an out-of-towener with an international reputation to make his mark here. Gehry is one of the world's most important and talked-about designers, and Architecture is almost as much talked about and discussed as sports in Chicago.
(I have visited two other Frank Gehry structures in the US, and have pictures of them on my pages. In Minneapolis, Gehry designed the Weisman Art Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota. In Toledo, he created an interesting Center for Visual Arts. Gehry certainly does have an identifiably visual style.)
And I think Gehry has lived up to his responsibility, creating an instantly memorable and inviting public space that ought to enhance Chicago's music scene for decades.
One of the highlights of the finally-opened Millenium Park is the bean-shaped Cloud Gate sculpture on the west side of the park. The contour reflects the skyline and curious strollers-by in warped format. It's very unique and entertaining, and fits in well with the rather modern look of Millenium Park as a whole.
Grand opening is set for July 17,18,19 2004. The new Millenium Park built over the existing rail lines will set the benchmark for all other "modern"parks to follow. By coordinating civic, business and individuals, Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago have built a destination full of wonderful architecture, art and gardens. This will be such an important addition to the urbanscape in Chicago it is hard to not speak in grand terms about the project.
Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) provides one hour tours of the park on Fridays and Sundays(see link)
Milennium Park is awesome. It's a beautiful thing to do to see amazing archicture, people watch, see a concert or just walk around and enjoy the day. It's also the sight of the famous Bean.
If you love to go ice skating, make sure you take a trip to the Millenium Park. There's an ice skating rink there in winter.
Take a walk through the Millenium Park to view some fantastic monuments like the Bean Sculpture by Anish Kapoor.
A beautiful park along the lake front, restaurants, music, possible festival and art. Also, you can relax possibly have a picnic.
Millennium Park is more of the north end of another park that is an art park. So many cool sculptures and such.
The video instalations, the planting of a huge hedge, the open theatre, the bean make it a special place to hang out. Even security guards are on stand by to prevent vandalisation.