|Officially opened in July 2004, Millennium Park is comprised of a number of components (not all of them pictured here): the Lurie Garden, the Chase Promenade, McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink, Wrigley Square Millennium Monument (peristyle), the Bike Station (an indoor heated facility), the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain (detail below), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the BP Bridge--both by Frank Gehry, and Anish Kapoor's sculpture entitiled Cloud Gate (below). Although it was four years late and had unimaginable cost overruns, the Park is unanimously loved and admired. It was initially planned in 1997 as a way to transform ugly railroad tracks and parking lots and to create new parkland in Grant Park. Located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre park is a beautiful showcase for music, art, architecture, and landscape design. See map, provided by the Cultural Center.|
Detail of The Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa (the southwest corner of the park--Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street)Two fifty foot glass block towers display changing video images of Chicagoans and nature scenes. In warm enough weather, water cascades from the top of each, filling a shallow reflecting pool which connects the towers. The fountain was conceived as being interactive and as an invitation to enter the park proper. In December, when this photograph was taken, the water component of the fountain is inactive.
Cloud Gate by Anish KapoorThis stainless steel elliptical sculpture, located near the center of Millennium Park, is 66 feet long and 33 feet high. Its polished surface reflects the visitors to the park and the magnificent Chicago skyline. Visitors can walk through and around it, as it was designed to be interactive. Inspired by liquid mercury, it weighs 110 tons and is one of the largest sculptures in the world. It is also known as the jellybean.
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