Chicagoans have begun enjoying the latest section of Millennium Park to open, a full acre of landscaped parkland just east of Michigan Avenue between Madison and Monroe.
While other sections of the new park already have opened-the popular ice rink, two sections of promenade, the Millennium Park underground parking garage and the northernmost leg of the busway to McCormick Place-this is the first open green space to be completed.
“We’ve already seen people enjoying this newest section of the park, strolling and sometimes bringing their lunch on nice days,” said Public Building Commission construction manager Kevin Gujral. “With more than 50 trees, it’s a beautiful site for picnics and other park activities.”
This particular section of Millennium Park sits atop the Grant Park North underground parking garage.
More of Millennium Park is scheduled to open later this year, including additional landscaped green space that is being built over the Metra tracks; the entire South Promenade; and the Greek-columned Peristyle and its accompanying plaza and fountain.
Meanwhile, construction is underway on two more of the park’s major attractions: the outdoor bandshell designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and the indoor Music and Dance Theater.
The next two years also will see installation of the 100-ton reflective sculpture by world-famed artist Anish Kapoor and a 2.5-acre garden whose design was the subject of an international competition.
When completed, Millennium Park is widely anticipated to be one of the most stunning public spaces in the world, filled with exceptional attractions that will delight city residents and attract millions of visitors annually (a significant boost to the local economy).
Even better, about two-thirds of Millennium Park will be entirely new parkland constructed on a span that bridges and conceals what long had been the unsightly air space over the railroad tracks previously dividing that section of Chicago’s lakefront.