Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Millennium Park is a prominent new civic center of the City of Chicago in Illinois and an important landmark of the city's lakefront. A redeveloped section of Grant Park, the 25 acre (101,000 m²) landmark is bounded by Michigan Avenue, East Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive. It was Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley's ambitious idea to realize that which was originally designed as part of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago, a plan for the future of Chicago created in 1909.
Planning began in October 1996, construction began in June 1999 and it was finally completed in July 2004. Millennium Park was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004 as part of a three-day celebration that included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. 300,000 people took part in the grand opening festivities surpassing the 50,000 expected.
Millennium Park is a portion of the larger Grant Park, the "front lawn" of downtown Chicago and one of the largest public parks in metropolitan Chicago and is a showcase for postmodern architecture. It features the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink, Peristyle at Wrigley Square, Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, SBC Plaza, Lurie Garden, Bank One Promenade and Trees in Millennium Park. There are three major artistic highlights: Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
The principal signature of Millennium Plaza is the Pritzker Pavilion, a band shell designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. A Pritzker Architecture Prize honoree and National Medal of Arts winner, Gehry designed such landmarks as the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, Der Neue Zollhoff in Düsseldorf and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Characteristic of Gehry, the Pritzker Pavilion consists of massive panels of stainless steel resembling the graceful blooming of a flower or the unfurling sails of a massive ship. Winding eastward from Pritzker Pavilion is the only bridge in the world designed by Frank Gehry. The 925 foot pedestrian bridge, made of the same steel as the bandshell with a hardwood deck, winds like a fluttering ribbon across nearby Columbus Drive, from the bandshell to a section of Grant Park along the lakefront.
SBC Plaza is home to Cloud Gate, a 3-story, 110-ton steel sculpture that has been dubbed by residents as The Bean. The sculpture is the work of world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor and is the first of his art in the United States. Cloud Gate is a highly-polished reflective steel sculpture which is meant to resemble a drop of liquid mercury hovering at the point of landing on a plaza of the park. In place for only a few months, it has already become one of the most popular sculptures in the city.
Recently, controversy has struck Cloud Gate, as the park district is claiming that pictures of the park violate the copyrights of the artists that designed the structures. Karen Ryan, the press director for the park's project said: "The copyrights for the enhancements in Millennium Park are owned by the artist who created them. As such, anyone reproducing the works, especially for commercial purposes, needs the permission of that artist." (source: Ben Joravsky, a writer for The Chicago Reader, 28 January, 2005)
Crown Fountain, designed by Catalan conceptual artist Jaume Plensa, is the first of its kind in the world. Transparent glass block bricks are used to build two 50-foot towers standing in the midst of a black granite plaza submerged under an eighth of an inch layer of water. Behind the glass bricks are high-tech LED video screens that when illuminated, scrolls through videos of the faces of nearly 1000 individual Chicagoans and showcases the vast diversity of the city while a stream of water cascades over the images. People are invited to walk on the water-covered granite plaza, creating the illusion of walking on water.
The project was known for its notorious delays (it was originally intended to open in 2000 instead of 2004) and tripled costs. This park, as stated by fundraiser John Bryan, would "be a monument to the very essence of the city of Chicago." It contains notable structures and gardens built by some of the best architects and designers available, and has a Frank Gehry-designed bandshell.
Many structures in the park were added, redesigned or modified. This resulted in budget increase. For example, the band shell's proposed budget was $10.8 million. When elaborate, cantilevered Gehry design required extra piling be driven into the bedrock to support the added weight, the cost spiraled to $60.3 million in the end.
|Project||Proposed Cost||Final Cost||% of Proposed|
|Garage||$87.5 million||$105.6 million||121%|
|Metra superstructure||$43.0 million||$60.6 million||141%|
|Band shell||$10.8 million||$60.3 million||558%|
|Music and Dance Theater||$20.0 million||$60.0 million||300%|
|Park finishes/landscaping||N/A||$42.9 million|
|Design and management costs||N/A||$39.5 million|
|Endowment||$10.0 million||$25.0 million||250%|
|Crown Fountain||$15.0 million||$17.0 million||113%|
|BP Pedestrian Bridge||$8.0 million||$14.5 million||181%|
|Lurie Garden||$4.0-8.0 million||$13.2 million||330%-165%|
|SBC sculpture||$6.0 million||$11.5 million||192%|
|Exelon Pavilions||N/A||$7.0 million|
|Peristyle/Wrigley Square||$5.0 million||$5.0 million||100%|
|Bank One Promenade||$6.0 million||$4.0 million||67%|
|McCormick Tribune ice rink||$5.0 million||$3.2 million||64%|
|Misc. (fencing, terraces, graphics)||N/A||$1.6 million|
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