Green Space That Will Blow You Away In The Windy City
Just about every major city in the world is home to a park that has become an iconic part of the city to both residents and visitors alike. Ask any Chicago resident where their favorite place to hang out is and they are likely to respond with Millennium Park. A less than desirable area that was once home to railroads and locomotives has now been transformed into a beautiful park that is home to the arts and some quite unforgettable architecture. More than just a place to walk the dog, Millennium Park is now considered one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago.
The art were always meant to be the focal point of the park which, although originally stated to be opened in 2000, was finally completed in July, 2004. It may have been a long time coming, but the popularity of the park is testament to the fact that the wait was worthwhile. One of the big draws of the park are the theaters, both indoor and outdoor, which attract all manner of different artistic performances and festivals to the city. The summer months are when those acts hot the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion, an open-air theater designed by Frank Gehry. The theater comfortably seats 4,000, with room for 7,000 more on the lawn, making it an ideal spot to have a picnic and be entertained. Purveyors of ballet, the opera, and classical music are more likely to find their concerts at the indoor Harris Theater, which seats 1,500.
Another popular spot in the summer months, especially with the kids, is the Crown Fountain. A pair of 50-foot tower blocks sits at either end of a shallow pool. Video images of Chicago citizens are displayed on the blocks, which shoot water all over the crowds gathered below. Jaume Plensa was the architect who came up with the concept of the “spitting” blocks, claiming that the regular faces were used to represent the gargoyles of old. Whatever the case, the Crown Fountain is the ideal spot to have some fun and cool off when the going gets hot.
If it’s a more relaxing experience you are looking for, you are sure to find it in the beautiful Lurie Gardens. Spread over 2.5 acres, the gardens are home to flowers that seem to be painted in every color on Mother Nature’s pallet. The vast majority of plants on display are native to Illinois and give you a nice insight into the landscape that lies outside the boundaries of the city.
We mentioned architecture earlier, and it can be argued that the Millennium Park is home to the most famous piece in all of Chicago. The Cloud Gate, or “The Bean” as locals call it, is a 33-feet high, 66-feet long piece of stainless steel that beautifully reflects the city skyline from whichever angle you view it from. It’s a different way to look at the city, but if you want a picture of the real skyline, then head to BP Footbridge for some of the best vantage points anywhere in Chicago.