Chicago Architecture Info

Millennium Park

Formerly known as Lakefront Gardens
Illinois Central Rail Yard
Michigan Avenue at Randolph
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Basic Information
Cost $475,000,000
Type Public Space
Neighborhood: Millennium Park
More Information
  • The city of Chicago contributed $270,000,000.00 to the construction of Millennium Park. Another $205,000,000.00 was donated by private individuals and foundations.
  • Cloud Gate was originally supposed to be the centerpiece of the Lurie Gardens, but was moved to its own space because park planners feared tourists would trample the garden.
  • September 8th, 2005: A bit of controversy surrounded the closing of Millenium Park for the day. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. paid the Chicago Park District $800,000 to rent the park for a private party. $300,000 was earmarked for day-to-day operating expenses. The rest for free concerts and other activities for the general public.
  • August 8, 2006: In a controversial move, Allstate Insurance Company rented out the majority of Millennium Park for a private party at a cost of $400,000. While the insurance company did have a permit for the park, Chicago Police were surprised when Allstate contractors started blocking off public streets and sidewalks. Local residents were locked out of their homes for hours late into the night while Allstate's suburban bigwigs partied. The final insult came at 11:00pm when a private fireworks show was set off, thundering through the skyscraper canyons of the Loop, waking up thousands of people. It apparently never occurred to the suburban-based insurance company that people actually live in downtown Chicago, and that the company's actions might wake up tens of thousands of men, women and children. At least one local resident cancelled his Allstate insurance policy and switched to a company that has a better history of being a good neighbor.