Admission is always free. From May 15th – September 21st, 2015.
The garden offers FREE guided tours on Thursdays and Fridays 11:00 am – 1:30 pm; Sundays 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. The Lurie Garden also offers free lectures and workshops. More information here.
The Lurie Garden is actually a rooftop garden built on top of the Millennium Park Parking structure.
It is an all natural garden in that they use no pesticides or herbicides. It’s around 60% native plants and all plants except the tulips are perennial. Most of the plants are drought resistant so the garden is only watered when there is an extended period of no rain. The garden contains over two hundred types of plants that bloom at different times of the season so the garden looks different at different times of spring throughout summer.
A team of eight volunteers manually weeds and maintains the garden during the summer.
The plants are not cut back until spring when they are mulch-mowered down. This allows for birds to eat from the seed pods in winter and it also provides interest even when not in bloom. Read here about the winter highlights of the “Frozen Garden.”
Designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel, this 5 acre garden pays homage to the City’s motto, “Urbs in Horto” (City in a Garden), which refers to Chicago’s transformation from its flat and marshy origins to a bold and powerful city.
New exhibit in the Lurie Garden in conjunction with an Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago
This spring the Art Institute of Chicago joins forces with The Arts Club of Chicago to host a pair of exhibitions featuring the work of Jean-Luc Mylayne (French, born 1946). The shows unite inside and outside, nature and culture, and bring together again two Chicago institutions that have deep historical ties. Further connecting the twin exhibitions is a third element, a public building in Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden featuring a 30-foot-long photographic fresco covering its entire ceiling.
Mylayne has devoted four decades to working with common birds as “actors” in a profound investigation of aesthetics and community. The photographs, typically printed at grand dimensions, are each unique and can take months to prepare. Week after week, at a precise place, in a chosen season, Mylayne and his life partner, Mylène Mylayne, set up cumbersome camera equipment and wait until one or more of the individual birds he has previously identified—and who often seem to recognize him in turn—come to occupy the position he had imagined in his picture.
The Millennium Park building, designed by Chicago architects Dan Wheeler and Joy Meek, is free and open to the public daily 11:00–7:00 throughout the exhibition. Calm and hushed, it is a windowless chapel that offers the miraculous image of a solitary sparrow, apparently perched just above our heads, at the exact corner of a square roof under a brilliant, cloudless sky. The bird is doing something nearly inconceivable: allowing a potential predator to approach from underneath. And visitors have the chance to do something rare enough in our times: transcend our self-imposed barriers to join freely with an Other.
Jean-Luc Mylayne: Mutual Regard is co-organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and The Arts Club of Chicago.
The exhibition is made possible by Lannan Foundation.