Known as one of Chicago’s greatest tourist attractions, Millennium Park has served as the 24.5 acre location for thousands of events, of all variety, for ten years now. Previously a large and unpleasant-looking railroad and parking lot hub, Mayor Richard Daley decided to replace the industrial scene with sculptures, gardens and a great outdoor concert venue. Originally budgeted at $150 million, the park ended up becoming a $475 million ordeal. In honor of its opening on July 16, 2004, the city of Chicago is featuring an exhibit of the park’s history from June 18, 2014 to October, 2014 in the park’s North Boeing Gallery. Here are a few interesting facts we’ve recently discovered, and would like to share, about this grand location as well as some of our favorite seasonal events:
- Cloud Gate, more commonly known as the Bean, is one of the world’s largest outdoor sculptures weighing about 110 tons and stretching 33 feet high.
- The Multi-faced fountains were inspired by the gargoyle fountains of the Middle Ages and Renaissance that similarly spouted water from their mouths.
- The Harris Theater, at its lowest level, reaches 20 feet below the level of Lake Michigan.
- Lurie Garden is home to more than 30,000 plantings.
- A huge lawsuit was filed over the ownership of Park Grill restaurant.
- Downtown Sound Series- June 2- August 11 at 6:30 pm listen to an eclectic mix of music discoveries
- Summer Workouts- June 7- September 6, free 45 minute workout classes such as Yoga, Zumba, Thai Chi and Pilates on the great lawn.
- June 24- August 6 at 6:30 pm, catch the film of the week for an epic movie night
- Annual Jazz Festival- August 28- 31, enjoy free admission to hear some famous jazz musicians
- Annual World Music Festival- September 11-21, free admission to international concerts at various locations, one of them being the J Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.