Over 24 acres make up Millennium Park, an exciting and diverse public urban park. It includes Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and the five-acre Lurie Garden.
The area, which was covered with unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots, remained a blemish on Chicago’s lakefront throughout the 20th century. In fact, from the 1850s until 1997, the land that is now occupied by Millennium Park was controlled by the Illinois Central Railroad. What was once an industrial wasteland has been transformed into a world-class public park featuring the work of world-renowned artists, architects, planners, landscape architects, and designers.
Did you know?
- Visionary Chicago leader Daniel Burnham considered the railroad’s control of the area to be so untouchable that he developed the Grant Park portion of his 1909 “Plan for Chicago” around it.
- Wrigley Square is home to the Millennium Monument, a nearly full-sized replica of the original colonnade that stood in the same location between 1917 and 1953. With its graceful semi-circular row of Doric-style columns that rise nearly 40 feet, the Millennium Monument ties the past to the present.