Friday, October 2, 2009

Summer's End .. Millennium Park, Chicago

Millennium Park burst on the scene in 2004, albeit, a few years past the planned opening 
at the turn of the century. 
Still, it's the place to be on a summer day in Chicago. I'm proud of my home town,
a greener, more vibrant and energetic urban setting than ever.

The Crown Fountain's upright 50-foot towers deliver a welcoming splash and flow;
the multi-media water feature designed by Jaume Plensa, a Barcelona artist.
A shallow pool spans the space between the glass-block towers,
their colorful video projections featuring a panoply of faces.
1,000 Chicagoans... their changing expressions creating a riveting display.

These giant faces are full of surprises....
Blink.... smile... ... spout!
Cavort, if you like,
or take up residence on a bench while you wait for friends to arrive.

More... Chicago, in the days ahead:
The Lurie Garden with Piet Oudolf plantings
Frank Gehry designed Pritzker Pavilion
Installation of Sculptures by Chinese Artists
& new Renzo Piano designed wing of The Art Institute of Chicago


  1. You know, I've never been there when it's in bloom. Since it was built, I've only ever been to Chicago in the winter or very early spring. In the winter this public space is still surprising, engaging and wonderful.

  2. Late but delighted congrats on the blotanicals award.

    We've been hearing a bit about Chicago lately because of the Olympics bid (commiserations). The Millenium park seems to encapsulate all that has been said about the city moving on from its industrial image and becoming a place for people. I love glass towers and shallow pool, they're stunning but also fun. Just the image of Chicago your mayor (so young!) wants to give.

  3. How fabulous! I love it when art and gardens cohabitate.

    What a treasure for the city.

  4. I just discovered Chicago this summer and now it is on the VERY TOP OF MY LIST of favorite cities in the world. It's like the frenetic energy of NYC meets Midwest sensibilities. I was amazed at the flower and plant life in JULY! In Texas, our flowers and plants are wilting and fighting for dear life at that point in the summer. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pics.

  5. Great urban gardens. The shallow water park is so inviting. Love the 'fountain' picture!

  6. Susan ...Ms R my dear,
    A sign of good design... yes? When a space works on various levels throughout the seasons! My trips since moving West have been in May or September, so I've never seen the park or any of the new landscape at other times of the year. It been fascinating to see the garden fill in - do look for the Lurie/Oudolf plantings to appear here... soon.

    Belated Congrats gratefully accepted!
    Mayor Daley's vision has enhanced the city's image, for sure, making it far more welcoming & greener in every way!

    Garden Ms. S,
    You're spot on.... Art + gardens = a treasure!

    Hey Lisa, My brother lives in Texas, and I hear tales of woe about gardens being affected by the relentless heat. Even in the dog days, Chicago spills over in summer with vibrant annual color and the most exuberant perennials!

    Janet, Hopefully the photos begin to convey the setting's impact.
    It's great fun to photograph! Glad you enjoyed the 'fountain.'

  7. What a wonderful series, Alice. Who knew Chicago was so loaded with garden and design delights? Now that I am closer, I'll wander up there maybe even this year. The Lurie Garden gives me a destination, for real.

  8. Steve,
    I haven't even scratched the surface with my Chicago features... but Millennium Park has a starring role in the city's green spaces. Let me know when you're planning a trip!