Monday, October 5, 2009

Millennium Park's Exuberant Spirit

Chicago - September, 2009 - Michigan Avenue

Frank Gehry’s exuberant architecture seems to have taken the world by storm. I'll vouch for the architect's design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. 

The building proved to have superb acoustics when I heard a string quartet play there. Before attending the concert, I'd been won over by Gehry's exuberant style,
 impressed by the Concert Hall's open-air gardens, which are also open to the public.

On my must-see list of Gehry buildings? The acclaimed Guggenheim Bilbao Museum
turned Bilbao, a Spanish port city, into a must-see destination. 

In the meantime, I visit Chicago in September during the World Music Festival,
where venues for free performances include the 
Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion
Millennium Park Peristyle Monument (replica)
The music from the Pavilion carries clear as a bell over an extensive area, encompassing the parkland and the Lurie Garden.
The view on the right shows the garden,  photographed through the glass wall of the sculpture terrace atop the new wing of the Art Institute of Chicagodesigned by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
(Next feature will focus on the Lurie Gardenwith plantings by Piet Oudolf.)
In the distance, across Monroe Street, the newly opened,  Renzo Piano-designed wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. The straightforward, strongly rectilinear lines of the building aim to complement the
 angular modernity of the Millennium Park landscape and minimalist Lurie GardenFantastic views unfold from the raised walkway  connecting the Lurie Garden to the Art Institute!
Beckoning from on high, the ramp invites you to enter either ....the museum,
 or Terzo Piano, an elegant new restaurant.


  1. That raised walkway looks positively futuristic.

    I love Frank Gehry as well. What an great example of how some serious intelligence and imagination combine to create some amazing buildings!

  2. Wendy,
    In my imaginary universe.... I'm am architect! Would you like to join my firm ;~D

  3. Lovely photos, I think Chicago is certainly a city to explore. The spring pictures of the Lurie Garden were amazing (from those who went to the Spring Fling) and now seeing falling photos, I wanna go!

  4. I absolutely fell in love with Millennium Park when I first visited Chicago in 2005. Coming from another Great Lakes city, I saw what was possible in a waterfront park but that was failing to happen in my own Toronto.

    They were still finishing the polish on "the bean" and the Lurie Garden was in its infancy. Never mind. It was a glorious and immensely exciting space.

    You didn't show the "spitting" column fountain -- it it still there?

    I'd love to go back to see the garden in its glory. Perhaps next August for the half marathon.

    Oh, and Mr. Gehry? Canadian. Raised in Toronto, as a matter of fact. I take all the credit.

  5. Great post! I look forward to more on the Oudolf plantings!

  6. Great post! I look forward to more on the Ouldolf plantings!

  7. Janet,
    You've reminded me that I need to go back and review all the fab posts from Spring Fling. They were fun to read - it's great to see photos of bloggers in 'real life.'
    Sorry we didn't meet at the time. Must be content to connect with you in the blogosphere for now ;-)

    You have every right to take credit for all meritorious Canadiens - or do you say Canadian? As I do for all the great actors that worked at Steppenwolf Theatre early in their careers!
    The fountain is in an earlier post, btw.
    Are you running half Marathons? Blimey, you must be fit!!

    I've been reading about a new garden setting in central Toronto, but have forgotten what it's called. Do you know what I'm referring to?
    I've seen pictures that have piqued my interest.

  8. Jennifer,

    Thanks for stopping by! The Oudolf plantings have now matured, much more so than on my last visit. I'm looking forward to writing about them!

  9. Your shot of the bandshell behind the gardens has become one of my favorite vantage points in the city. :)