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The Chicago Traveler

Millennium Park Features Chicago’s Most Striking Structures

by Matt B on May 7th, 2008

jay pritzker pavilion

If you're scheduling a trip to Chicago and haven't planned a trip to Millennium Park, you're definitely missing out. The fact that it opened in July 2004 (not 2000) and was three times more expensive than anyone had planned just goes to show how much work went into this state-of-the-art attraction.

cloud gateOh sure, it may seem simple, comprised mostly of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate, and Crown Fountain. But each one of those features is nothing like anything you've seen before. This northern section of Grant Park is a showcase for postmodern architecture, featuring a bandshell with curving planes of stainless steel, a reflective 'bean,' and two waterfall towers.

crown fountainOnce a collection of unattractive parking lots and railroad tracks, Millennium Park is now one of the most eye-catching public parks in the city. The Millennium Park Welcome Center is open seven days a week and offers park maps, free guided tours, and a wheelchair sign-out service. Downloadable maps and brochures are available at the Park's website, as well as free audio tours.

Photo credit: Grant Park Music Festival Internet Press Kit, (c/o Flickr) Tojosan, David Paul Ohmer

Millennium Park Welcome Center: 201 E Randolph St; 312-742-1168
Fall & Winter
Daily: 10:00 a.m. ' 4:00 p.m.
Spring & Summer
Daily: 9:00 a.m. ' 7:00 p.m.
24-hour underground parking (www.MillenniumGarages.com)
Public trans: Bus # 3, 4, X4, 6, 14, 20, X20, 26, 60, 124, 127, 143, 145, 147, 148, 151, 157
Red/Blue Line train (Washington)
Orange/Pink/Green/Purple/Brown Line train (Madison, Randolph)
Metra Electric/ South Shore Line (Randolph)

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POSTED IN: Architecture & Attractions, Art, Collectibles and Hobbies

5 opinions for Millennium Park Features Chicago’s Most Striking Structures

  • Getting Our Choo Choo On… « checking out and checking in
    May 8, 2008 at 4:12 am

    […] enjoy Navy Pier’s Children’s Museum, do some Window Shopping on Michigan Avenue, enjoy Cloudgate at sunrise, find some Chinatown treats, and check out Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park […]

  • Lauren
    May 12, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Wow those are some amazing photos. It looks like a stunning place!

  • Andrea Kirkby
    May 13, 2008 at 9:51 am

    This reminds me of Paris with its Parc de la Villette, which has little po-mo ‘follies’ in it. It too was a bit of a wasteland that’s been given new life.

    I wish we had a place like this in London… too many of our nicest squares are private ones, and the parks are all lawn and no post-modernism :-(

  • Matt B
    May 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

    It’s interesting that you say that Andrea. While many citizens wondered if better things could be done with all the money that built this park, officials argued that this Park would help make Chicago more of an “international” city. That will especially come into play as Chicago is being considered for the 2016 Olympics.

  • Weekend Quickies
    May 29, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    […] Annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival is three days of more than 50 performances on three stages in Millennium Park. (May 30-June […]

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