The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago

Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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The Pritzker Pavilion
Official name:The Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Michigan Avenue at Randolph, Chicago, Illinois, Millennium Park 60601
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Intended to be the centerpiece of Chicago's Millennium Park, the Pritzker Pavilion is both an acoustical and an architectural wonder. Architect Frank Ghery delivered another one of his playful steel creations. It appears as though the music has burst through a wall, sending the torn strips of metal curling back with the force of the blow. The curving metal forms the roof of a 4,000-seat amphitheater. Additional seating for 7,000 is available on the adjacent Great Lawn. This grassy knoll is covered with an amazing curved trellis from which hang lights and speakers. The sound delivered by the speakers is delayed to coincide with the arrival of natural sound from the orchestra. This cancels out any echoing effects and makes the viewer believe they are hearing the orchestra live from an impossible distance.

While Gehry's signature style is welcomed by municipalities around the world, it may just be his undoing. There was a story going around Chicago in 2002 that Ghery wanted to do something original and unique with the Pritzker Pavilion, but the people paying for it said, "no." They wanted an authentic Ghery building with curving glittering steel billowing from the structure. They got what they wanted, and Ghery may just be a victim of his own success.

Quick Facts
Notes
    » The Pritzker Pavilion is named for the Pritzker famiily, who contributed $15,000,000.00 toward its construction.
    » The stage area is clad with Douglas Fir.
    » The pavilion can accommodate a full-sized orchestra and a chorus of 150 members.
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Your Thoughts

There are six comments.

  Unfortunately, we're about to lose the neatly-framed view of the Pavilion roof looking eastward on Washington Street. The soon-to-be-built Washington-Wabash station on the Loop "L" will block sightlines from anywhere west of Wabash.

Alan Follett - Sunday, December 20th, 2015 @ 9:58am  

  Visually spectacular, and, based on several visits in the last few summers, acoustically very satisfactory. As a bonus, the "crashed-UFO" canopy provides a focus for the view eastward along Washington Street.

Alan Follett - Thursday, October 11th, 2012 @ 12:11pm  

  apparently the other commentors didnt read that it was the financers who wanted the "signature" Gehry style. Gehry himself wanted to do something new.. read the article people!!

chimpsey - Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 @ 4:58am  

  i like Gehry's vision. but i think no more duplicates needed.so i worry about gehry's next istanbul concert hall. apparently he will never quit with this approach..

kemal - Sunday, December 21st, 2008 @ 4:37am  

  I love the Bilbao Guggenheim, but I'm frankly tired of seeing the same Gehry structure repeated all over the world. Something fresh from him would be welcomed.

sarbanharble - Monday, December 10th, 2007 @ 3:43pm  

  i love Frank Gehry's work! he is the architect of the future!

SUSIE - Thursday, October 19th, 2006 @ 11:50am  

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