Grant Park (Chicago)

Grant Park (Chicago)

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Grant Park, with 319 acres (1.3 km²) between the downtown Chicago Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

 and Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

, offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is also crossed by large boulevards and even a bed of sunken railroad tracks. While bridges are used to span the tracks, and also used to connect with Millennium Park, the rest of the park must be reached by pedestrians at traffic crossings, except for a spacious underpass connection to the Museum Campus. There are also several parking garages underneath the park, near Michigan Avenue.

When it was landscaped in the early 20th century in a formal beaux arts style, tall American Elms were planted in concentric patterns around the park. While hundreds of these trees still exist, reaching 60 feet tall, they were devastated in the late 1970s by Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch elm disease
Dutch elm disease is a disease caused by a member of the sac fungi category, affecting elm trees which is spread by the elm bark beetle. Although believed to be originally native to Asia, the disease has been accidentally introduced into America and Europe, where it has devastated native...

. Hybrid elms have since been used to replace lost trees.

Millennium Park


The northwestern corner of the park was renovated between 1998 and 2004 to become Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

, a contiguous area with a variety of artistic features by architects and artists. Millennium Park has free admission, and features the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, also known as Pritzker Pavilion or Pritzker Music Pavilion, is a bandshell in Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located on the south side of Randolph Street and east of the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan...

, Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate, a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, is the centerpiece of the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park within the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and...

, the Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain
Crown Fountain is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture featured in Chicago's Millennium Park, which is located in the Loop community area. Designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Krueck and Sexton Architects, it opened in July 2004. The fountain is composed of a...

, the Lurie Garden
Lurie Garden
Lurie Garden is a garden located at the southern end of Millennium Park in the Loop area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Designed by Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel, it opened on July 16, 2004. The garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses,...

 and other attractions. The park is connected by the BP Pedestrian Bridge
BP Pedestrian Bridge
The BP Pedestrian Bridge, or simply BP Bridge, is a girder footbridge in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It spans Columbus Drive to connect Daley Bicentennial Plaza with Millennium Park, both parts of the larger Grant Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect...

 and the Nichols Bridgeway
Nichols Bridgeway
The Nichols Bridgeway is a pedestrian bridge located in Chicago, Illinois. The bridge begins at the Great Lawn of Millennium Park, crosses over Monroe Street and connects to the third floor of the West Pavilion of the Modern Wing, the Art Institute of Chicago's newest wing...

 to other parts of Grant Park.

Daley Bicentennial Plaza


Across the BP Pedestrian Bridge
BP Pedestrian Bridge
The BP Pedestrian Bridge, or simply BP Bridge, is a girder footbridge in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It spans Columbus Drive to connect Daley Bicentennial Plaza with Millennium Park, both parts of the larger Grant Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect...

 from Millennium Park, the northeast corner of Grant Park hosts outdoor activities at Daley Bicentennial Plaza. Attractions here include a garden, summer and winter skating rinks, tennis courts, chess tables, and an activities building.

Art Institute of Chicago


Built in 1893, on the western edge of Grant Park is the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

, one of the premier art museums and art schools in the United States, known especially for the extensive collection of Impressionist and American art, such as A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, and Grant Wood
Grant Wood
Grant DeVolson Wood was an American painter, born four miles east of Anamosa, Iowa. He is best known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest, particularly the painting American Gothic, an iconic image of the 20th century.- Life and career :His family moved to Cedar Rapids after his...

's American Gothic
American Gothic
American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood, in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood's inspiration came from a cottage designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window and a decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that...

. The headquarters of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is also here.

Buckingham Fountain


The center piece of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan...

, one of the world's largest fountain
Fountain
A fountain is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air either to supply drinking water or for decorative or dramatic effect....

s. The fountain, in a rococo
Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 wedding cake style, was dedicated in 1927 as a gift to the city from Kate Sturges Buckingham in memory of her brother Clarence. The fountain operates from April to October with water displays every 20 minutes and a light and water display from 9:00pm to 10:00pm.

Museum Campus


Chicago's Museum Campus
Museum Campus Chicago
Museum Campus Chicago is a lakefront park in Chicago that surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History...

 is a 57 acre (230,850 m²) addition to Grant Park's southeastern end. The Museum Campus is the site of three of the city's most notable museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

s, all dedicated to the natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s: Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler, with the assistance of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox...

, Field Museum of Natural History
Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum of Natural History is located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It sits on Lake Shore Drive next to Lake Michigan, part of a scenic complex known as the Museum Campus Chicago...

, and Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium is an indoor public aquarium in Chicago, Illinois in the United States that opened on May 30, 1930. The aquarium contains over 25,000 fish, and was for some time the largest indoor aquarium in the world with of water. The Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium with...

. A narrow isthmus along Solidarity Drive dominated by Neoclassical sculptures of Kościuszko, Havliček
Karel Havlícek Borovský
Karel Havlíček Borovský was a Czech writer, poet, critic, politician, journalist, and publisher. He lived and studied at the Gymnasium in Německý Brod , and his house on the main square is today the Havlíček Museum...

 and Copernicus connects to Northerly Island
Northerly Island
Northerly Island is a man-made peninsula along Chicago's lakefront. The site of the Adler Planetarium, Northerly Island connects to the mainland through a narrow isthmus along Solidarity Drive dominated by Neoclassical sculptures of Kościuszko, Havliček and Copernicus...

 where the planetarium is located to the rest of the Museum Campus
Museum Campus Chicago
Museum Campus Chicago is a lakefront park in Chicago that surrounds three of the city's most notable museums, all dedicated to the natural sciences: the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History...

 situated on the mainland.

Petrillo Music Shell


The Petrillo Music Shell
Petrillo Music Shell
James C. Petrillo Music Shell or simply Petrillo Music Shell or Petrillo Bandshell as it is more commonly known, is an outdoor amphitheater/bandstand in Grant Park in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States...

 hosts music performances during the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza. Located at 235 S. Columbus Drive, the music shell's area encompasses the entire block bounded by Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue , Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S...

 to the east, Columbus Drive to the west, East Monroe Street to the north and East Jackson Street to the South. This places it a block east of the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

, a block north of Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain is a Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park. Dedicated in 1927, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to allegorically represent Lake Michigan...

, a block south of Daley Bicentennial Plaza and just southeast of Millennium Park
Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

. The structure was relocated to this site in 1978 from the south end of the park. The amphitheater and paved surface for public seating is in the southwest corner.

Congress Plaza


Located in the center, on the west side of the park, is Congress Plaza. The two semicircular plazas, created by East Congress Plaza Drive, and bisected by East Congress Parkway, contain gardens, fountains, and artwork, including the large bronze warrior statues, The Bowman and the Spearman
The Bowman and the Spearman
The Bowman and The Spearman, also known as Indians, are two bronze equestrian sculptures standing as gatekeepers in Congress Plaza, at the intersection of Congress Drive and Michigan Avenue in Grant Park, Chicago, United States. The sculptures were made in Zagreb by Croatian sculptor Ivan...

that are positioned like gatekeepers to the park.

Gardens


There are several gardens and flower displays throughout the park. Millennium Park houses the Lurie Garden
Lurie Garden
Lurie Garden is a garden located at the southern end of Millennium Park in the Loop area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Designed by Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel, it opened on July 16, 2004. The garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses,...

, known for its display of tall grass flowers, particularly lavender
Lavender
The lavenders are a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. An Old World genus, distributed from Macaronesia across Africa, the Mediterranean, South-West Asia, Arabia, Western Iran and South-East India...

, and a decorative post-modern water stream. To the east, across the BP Pedestrian Bridge
BP Pedestrian Bridge
The BP Pedestrian Bridge, or simply BP Bridge, is a girder footbridge in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It spans Columbus Drive to connect Daley Bicentennial Plaza with Millennium Park, both parts of the larger Grant Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect...

, Daley Plaza holds a formal garden. To the northeast of Daley Plaza, at 375 East Randolph Drive, is the Richard & Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Garden, marked by two huge doric columns from the demolished Chicago Federal Building
Chicago Federal Building
The Chicago Federal Building in Chicago, Illinois was constructed between 1898 and 1905 for the purpose of housing the midwest's federal courts, main post office, and other government bureaus. It stood in The Loop neighborhood on a block bounded by Dearborn, Adams and Clark Streets and Jackson...

 and a wrought-iron pergola. The garden contains numerous walkways lined with planters and is one of several similar spaces created nationwide by R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation.

Flanking the original Art Institute of Chicago Building
Art Institute of Chicago Building
The Art Institute of Chicago Building houses the Art Institute of Chicago, and is located in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The building is also located in Grant Park on the east side of Michigan Avenue, and marks the third...

 are gardens in the north and south McCormick Courtyards; in the south coutyard is the bronze sculpture Fountain of the Great Lakes
Fountain of the Great Lakes
Fountain of the Great Lakes or Spirit of the Great Lakes Fountain is an allegorical sculpture by Lorado Taft in the Art Institute of Chicago South Stanley McCormick Memorial Court south of the Art Institute of Chicago Building in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United...

. To the south of the art museum, along Michigan Avenue
Michigan Avenue
Michigan Avenue may refer to:* Michigan Avenue * Michigan Avenue , a designation for much of both current and former U.S. Route 12 in Michigan...

, are a succession of gardens. Two of these are adjacent to Orchestra Hall and honor former conductors of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1891, the Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival...

 (Sir Georg Solti
Georg Solti
Sir Georg Solti, KBE, was a Hungarian-British orchestral and operatic conductor. He was a major classical recording artist, holding the record for having received the most Grammy Awards, having personally won 31 as a conductor, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to his...

 and Theodore Thomas).

To the east of the Art Institute, near the Court of Presidents, are demonstration gardens that flank Congress Parkway and surrounding Buckingham Fountain are a series of formal gardens, including the Tiffany Celebration Garden to the south.

Public Art


There is public art, much of it sculpture, in many areas in the park including in Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the several gardens, and Congress Plaza. Four individual large installations, in other areas of the park, include:

Abraham Lincoln Monument


Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State
Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State
Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State is a bronze statue in Grant Park, in Chicago. Created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and completed by his work shop in 1908, it was intended by the artist to to evoke the loneliness and burden of command felt by Lincoln during his presidency...

is a statue by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the Irish-born American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the "American Renaissance"...

 set in a 150 foot wide exedra
Exedra
In architecture, an exedra is a semicircular recess or plinth, often crowned by a semi-dome, which is sometimes set into a building's facade. The original Greek sense was applied to a room that opened onto a stoa, ringed with curved high-backed stone benches, a suitable place for a philosophical...

 by architect Stanford White
Stanford White
Stanford White was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the frontrunner among Beaux-Arts firms. He designed a long series of houses for the rich and the very rich, and various public, institutional, and religious buildings, some of which can be found...

, honoring the Illinois resident and 16th President of the United States, who was nominated for that high office in Chicago. The statue was cast in 1908 and was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

 and at the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair, until being installed in the park in 1926. It is located in the Court of Presidents, north of Congress Parkway and west of Columbus Drive. It is frequently called Seated Lincoln to avoid confusion with Saint-Gaudens' 1887 sculpture Abraham Lincoln: The Man in Lincoln Park.

Agora


Agora
Agora (sculpture)
Agora is the name of a group of 106 headless and armless iron sculptures at the south end of Grant Park in Chicago. Designed by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, they were made in a foundry near Poznan between 2004 and 2006. In 2006, the Chicago Park District brought the work to Chicago as a...

(from Greek, for urban meeting place) is an installation of over 100 headless, armless sculptures designed by the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz is a Polish sculptor. She is notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium. She was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland from 1965 to 1990 and a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles in 1984...

 in southwestern Grant Park near Roosevelt Road. The piece was brought to the park in 2006. The figures are 9 ft (2.7 m) tall and weigh approximately 1800 lb (816.5 kg). Each is made from a hollow, seamless piece of iron that has been allowed to rust, creating a reddish appearance and a bark-like texture. The figures appear to be milling about in a crowd; some face each other, while others look away. Visitors are meant to walk through the sculptures and contemplate the work.

Columbus Monument


Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus (Grant Park)
Christopher Columbus is a bronze statue in Grant Park, in Chicago. It was created by Milanese born sculptor, Carlo Brioschi, and installed in 1933. It is set on an exedra and pedestal designed with the help of architect Clarence H. Johnson....

is a bronze statue on a monumental pedestal at the southern end of Grant Park. In 1933, Chicago celebrated its 100th anniversary with the Century of Progress
Century of Progress
A Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of a World's Fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation...

 World's Fair. In conjunction with the fair, Chicago's Italian-American community raised funds and donated the statute of the Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 navigator and explorer, Christopher Columbus. It was located near the site of the fair, and is east of S. Columbus Drive and north of E. Roosevelt Road.

Logan Monument


At Michigan Avenue and Ninth Street is a large equestrian statue of John A. Logan. Logan was a United States Major General, who had resigned his congressional seat to serve in the army during the Civil War. He led troops in many battles throughout the west and south. After the war, he was elected to the United States Senate from Illinois. His statue, also by Saint-Gaudens (the sculptor of the Lincoln statue), was initially meant to mark his burial site but this did not happen.

Hutchinson Field


Much of the southern end of Grant Park is given over to Hutchinson Field, an open space for large events, with a dozen baseball or softball diamonds.

Chicago Lakefront Trail


The Chicago Lakefront Trail (abbreviated as LFT) is an 18-mile multi-use path in Chicago, Illinois along the coast of Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

. It is popular with cyclists and joggers. From north to south, it runs through Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park
Burnham Park (Chicago)
Burnham Park is a public park in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The park, which lines along six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, connects Grant Park at 14th st. to Jackson Park at 56th St. The of parkland is owned and managed by Chicago Park District. It was named for urban...

 and Jackson Park
Jackson Park (Chicago)
Jackson Park is a 500 acre park on Chicago's South Side, located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community area. It extends into the South Shore and Hyde Park community areas, bordering Lake Michigan and several South Side neighborhoods...

. (Chicago Park District Lakefront Trail Map)

Marinas and Harbors


There are two pleasure and leisure boat marinas on Lake Michigan, which are accessed from Grant Park. Monroe Harbor provides 1000 moring cans, tender service, and facilities in the expansive harbor east of the park. It is the home of the Chicago Yacht Club and the Columbia Yacht Club. Du Sable Harbor (formerly, Chicago Harbor) northeast of the park, offers 420 boat docks and a harbor store. Both Harbors may be accessed off Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Street.

Other facilities


Grant Park also features many shaded walking trails and several sculptures. In addition, there are 16 softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

 and baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 fields and 12 tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 courts, open to the general public; Daley Bicentennial Plaza offers fitness, yoga, and aerobics programs.

Reconfigured Bicentennial Plaza


Daley Bicentennial Plaza occupies the northern middle section of the park on Randolph Street. It is currently scheduled for closure and redesign from 2012 to 2015. Plans call reconfiguring the plaza, together with redevelopment of its field-house and underground parking facility.

Children's Museum


The Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children's Museum
The Chicago Children's Museum is located at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1982 by The Junior League of Chicago who were responding to programming cutbacks in the Chicago Public Schools...

 announced plans in 2006 for a $100 million structure to replace the cramped facilities at Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The pier was built in 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million, equivalent to $ today. It was a part of the Plan of Chicago developed by architect and...

 it has called home since 1995. The museum hoped to construct an underground building on the site of Daley Bicentennial Plaza, a plan that Mayor Richard M. Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

 and council members approved in 2008. Some council members and area residents opposed the project and vowed to continue fighting despite the approval. Since the initial announcement, fund raising has lagged and costs have escalated, decreasing the likelihood that the plan will be completed. In early 2011, the Chicago Park District awarded a contract to repair leaks in the parking garage that occupies a portion of the site under Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

External links