Connecting Millennium Park to Daley Bicentennial Plaza will be a pedestrian bridge. The serpentine bridge will be covered with stainless steel designed by Frank Gehry.
Eight acres of lush, colorful parkland has been opened east of Michigan Avenue and north of Monroe.
With nearly 200 trees in this section it has already become a popular destination; to enjoy lunch, read Chicago’s latest One Book or toss a frisbee around.
Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor’s first public outdoor work installed in the United States. The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.
A 2.5-acre landscaped marvel on the southeast corner of the park, its design the object of an international competition. Screened from the rest of the park by tall sculpted hedges and bisected by a graceful wooden pedestrian footbridge over shallow water, the year-round garden will feature an imaginative panorama of sunny and shaded areas.
Benches, a meeting grove of flowering trees, seasonal plantings and dramatic lighting will provide different types of spaces for different purposes. Where one portion of the garden is expected to become a popular gathering spot, another will be perfect for quiet contemplation.
300-space, heated indoor bicycle parking facility, which will provide lockers, showers, bike repair, bike rental and other amenities to encourage more people to bike to work and to the park.
The 16,448-square-foot facility is being built on levels 5 and 6 of the Millennium Park parking garage. In addition to bike commuter and recreational bicyclists the facility will serve runners and inline skaters. The Chicago Police Lakefront Bicylce Patrol Unit will be stationed in the facility.
“Today we proudly unveil the first piece of what will become one of the finest recreational and cultural spaces of any city in the world-Chicago¿s Millennium Park.” – Mayor Richard M. Daley
The first attraction of Chicago’s new world-class Millennium Park opened to cheering crowds and fireworks in a star studded celebration on December 20, 2001.
The outdoor ice rink is the first of many major attractions planned for the 24.6-acre park. The rink faces Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets and is free to the public.
Mayor Richard M. Daley was joined in the celebration by John W. Madigan, chairman of the McCormick Tribune Foundation; John Bryan, head of the private donor group that has raised more than $100 million for the park; actress Bonnie Hunt; performers from the Midnight Circus; the Russian Skating Pair Team; Rockettes from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show; skaters from The Magic of Ice show at Drury Lane; members of the U.S. Olympic Women¿s Hockey team; the Chicago Skates Team from McFetridge Sports Center; the Miniblades Skating team; local skaters Andrea Peters and Alan Berger; and the Santa from “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Oriental Theater.
The ice rink, 200 feet long and 80 feet wide, totals 15,910 square-feet of skating surface. Its construction was funded by a grant from the Tribune Foundation.
Open seven days a week the hours of operation are: 10 am – 10 pm Friday, Monday and Sunday and 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Admission is free. Skate rental is available.
The rink will be used as an outdoor restaurant and activity center during non-winter months.
A nearly full-sized replica of the curving row of paired Greek columns that originally graced the northwest corner of Grant Park near Michigan and Randolph between 1917 and 1953.
A gift from the William Wrigley Jr. Company, the semi-circle of Doric-style columns will rise to a height of nearly 40 feet, restoring a classical elegance to that section of Grant Park while commemorating all of the Millennium Park donors in perpetuity.
Frank Gehry-winner of the Pritzker Prize in Architecture and the National Medal of Art-designed the bandshell with a special sound system stretching out across the audience areas.
This will be the park’s main bandshell with a stage similar in size to The Symphony Center (Orchestra Hall) and able to accommodate an orchestra of 120 musicians and a chorus of 150 singers.
Fixed seating for 4,000 and a 95,000-square-foot lawn area will serve a combined audience of more than 11,000 people, with excellent sound quality provided through a state-of-the-art trellis network of speakers-the first of its kind in the world-that will rival the concert sounds of Ravinia.
While the bandshell itself will be about 60 feet high, it will be decorated with unique steel ribbons that burst outward another 35-to-40 feet high like the petals of a flower, part of Gehry’s design. All the Gehry elements of the bandshell are being privately funded.
Construction by the numbers:
- Stage opening is 90 feet wide by 50 feet tall. The proscenium doors contain 90 panes of glass.
- The Trellis over the greatlawn is 625 x 325 feet. It is 60 feet high at its highest point.
- The Trellis is supported by 24 6 ft diameter, 15 ft tall concrete pylons. The pylons are set 60 feet apart.
- The Trellis is made up of 120 pieces of 12 to 18 inch diameter pipes. Pieces range from 50 to 105 feet long with the average being 80 feet.
- Nearly 700 aluminum panels make up the back of the Gehry ribbons. The panels are held in place by 2,064 arms.
- No two panels are alike and range from 4 to 8 feet in width and 6 to 24 feet in lenght.
- 5,200 interlocking stainless steel sheets cover the Gehry ribbons.