When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 28 – August 29 7:30-8:15am
About Millennium Park
- Millennium Park was once an industrial wasteland. From the 1850s until 1997 the land where the park is located was controlled by the Illinois Central Railroad.
- Chicago architect Daniel Burnham considered the railroad’s control of the area permanent and design the Grant Park portion of his 1909 “Plan for Chicago” around it.
- The area, which was covered with unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots throughout the 20th century.
- Millennium Park was first conceived in late 1997 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley as a new public space for residents of Chicago. The original plan called the traditional Beaux Arts style of Grant Park.
- When it became clear that due to the city’s finances the park had to be primarily funded by the private sector the plans changed. Over time the philanthropists changed the design and vision of the park because they were paying for it.
- As you can see nearly every element of the park was sold for the naming rights to corporations or individuals.
- The project evolved into featuring a collection of artists, architects, planners, landscape architects and designers.
- Today, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park has allegedly become a more popular tourist attraction than Navy Pier.
- Learn more about Millennium Park’s conversion into a state-of-the-art public space with Chicago Public Library’s digital photography collection: Millennium Park.