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Chicago's Magical Millennium Park
A Treasure in Chicago
Chicago's Millennium Park is one of my favorite places to walk through. It covers 24.5 acres and features outdoor public art, live music events and even a skating rink during the winter months. The park is surrounded by numerous sky scrapers making the experience all the more magical.
Officially opened in 2004 the park has been seen and used by thousands of visitors and locals alike. Once you've seen the park you’ll know why I've made it a priority to explore along with so many others.
Facing a Cool Down
The Crown Fountain designed by Jaume Plensa is a popular sight not only for its 50-foot-glass block towers that face one another, but for the large reflecting pool between them. Benches lining the pool area provide front row seating if you want to put your feet up, people watch or just see the fountains in action. The reflecting pool of clear water offers relief from the heat so feel free to splash or wade in it with the rest of the crowd.
Who are the faces on the towers? The faces are of Chicago natives squirting water onto the reflecting pool below and anyone hoping to cool off.
Reflections in "the Bean"
Catching your reflection in British sculptor Anish Kapoor’s 110-ton elliptical polished steel sculpture is fun and exciting. The inflated curved mirror effect of Cloud Gate changes how you see the sizes and shapes of things including yourself within the cityscape of Chicago. Your reflection becomes an interactive part of the sculpture and your surroundings.
The sculptor was originally born in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1954, lived and worked in London, attended Hornsey College of Art and the Chelsea School of Art and Design. Several other famous works by by Kapoor include: Sky Mirror, in Kensington Gardens, London and a second Sky Mirror, in Rockefeller Center, New York, both reflecting the ever changing sky above. A piece called the "Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem," was commissioned and installed in 2010 at the Israel Museum. To view more of Kapoor’s work go to the Lisson Gallery link at the end of this hub page.
- Lisson Gallery
Anish Kapoor's work on display and photographed within the gallery.
A Park to Remember
I’ve provided only a glimpse of what is in store at Millennium Park. There is the steel BP Bridge by Frank Gehry that winds across Columbus Drive for 925 feet along the edge of the park. An open air music pavilion Jay Pritzker Pavilion also by Frank Gehry that holds 4000 seats with the Great Lawn nearby. The Harris Theater for Music and Dance that seats 1,525 boasts having excellent sight lines and sound.
A beautiful garden full of over 138 varieties of perennials can be found in the Lurie Garden. The Nichols Bridgeway connects Millennium Park to the Art Institutes Modern Wing providing an excellent view of the Lurie Garden from its 625-foot bridge. If ice skating is your sport of choice there is also popular 16,000-square foot ice rink in the park.
- Zhan Wang
On-line home of one of the largest museums in the western world devoted exclusively to Asian art and culture
- CENTURY ONLINE CHINA ART NETWORKS
Chen Wenling's sculptures.