Millennium Park, Chicago

Millennium Park, Chicago (must see)

In 2004, when Anish Kapoor's colossal, gleaming Cloud Gate sculpture, the lively fountains, the captivating Crown Fountain, and a Disney-esque music pavilion all came together in this park, they quickly won the affection of both Chicagoans and tourists. This public space, which cost $250 million more than planned and opened four years later than scheduled, stands out as Chicago's most dazzling, showcasing contemporary architecture and design. Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for The New York Times, hailed it as "one of the great new models for a kind of urban park." It has been embraced by locals and visitors alike and is widely considered the most impressive public project in Chicago since the 1893 World's Fair.

The park's origins trace back to a moment when Mayor Richard M. Daley conceived of it while sitting in his dentist's chair across the street, gazing at the sea of parking lots and railyards that occupied the site until the late 1990s. The initial design, created by the globally renowned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill firm based in Chicago, adhered to the traditional style of Grant Park, featuring formal fountains and gardens. However, private donors who had pledged to supplement public funding for the park's construction rejected this design as too conservative. Cindy Pritzker, a prominent Chicago philanthropist and the spouse of the late Jay Pritzker, the founder of the Hyatt hotel chain and the esteemed Pritzker Prize in architecture, eventually persuaded Frank Gehry (a previous Pritzker Prize laureate) to design the park's central pavilion, along with a bridge leading to the lake across Columbus Avenue. Gehry's involvement attracted other exceptional talents to the project, resulting in an impressively diverse yet cohesive masterpiece.

The star attraction undoubtedly lies in Gehry's remarkable Jay Pritzker Pavilion, featuring striking ribbons of stainless steel soaring 40 feet into the sky, resembling petals enveloping the music stage. Other notable elements include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, offering an indoor option for performing arts enthusiasts, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, and the Lurie Garden, a year-round delight.

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Millennium Park on Map

Sight Name: Millennium Park
Sight Location: Chicago, USA (See walking tours in Chicago)
Sight Type: Park/Outdoor
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Chicago, Illinois

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Create Your Own Walk in Chicago

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chicago is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of Chicago Walking Tour

University of Chicago Walking Tour

Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is among the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. As of 2020, the University’s students, faculty and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Chicago Navy Pier Walking Tour

Chicago Navy Pier Walking Tour

Additional to scenic views of the lake, the boats, and the city skyline, the Navy Pier offers a variety of attractions on the waterfront – for kids as well as adults – that draw nearly ten million people annually, making this Chicago's most visited spot. Yes, some may see it as a “tourist trap”, but it is worth the time and money to spend some time here, so take this self-guided walk...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
The Magnificent Mile Walking Tour

The Magnificent Mile Walking Tour

The stretch of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Lake Shore Drive, otherwise known as the Magnificent Mile, is regarded as one of the world’s great avenues – or Chicago’s version of Fifth Avenue. Take this self-guided walk to explore its whole stretch and surrounding area, featuring a wide selection of amazing stores/malls, world-known museums, restaurants and spectacular...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Loop District Architecture Walking Tour

Loop District Architecture Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

Millennium and Grant Parks Walking Tour

The city of Chicago is renowned for its outdoor green spaces. One such “forever free and open” space, is called Grant Park and was established in 1844. In fact, upon foundation, it was called Lake Park, but was renamed in 1901 after the American Civil War General and United States President, Ulysses S. Grant.

Popularly referred to as “Chicago's front lawn,” this lakefront park is...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Chicago Old Town Walking Tour

Chicago Old Town Walking Tour

Settled in 1850 by German immigrants, Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood is a popular destination for locals and visitors who cater to the entertainment venues, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and boutiques – all of which have turned an area once referred to as the “Cabbage Patch” into an attraction that rivals Navy Pier, Wrigley Field and the Magnificent Mile.

Start your Old Town walking...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

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