After the lovely boat tour, I continued to enjoy the nice sunny day and headed over to Millennium Park. The public park is located in the Loop area of the city and was originally intended to celebrate the second millennium. It lies near the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline and covers about 25 acres.
Cloud Gate is a three-story steel sculpture. It is also known as “The Bean” due to its legume-like shape. The sculpture is the first public artwork in the United States by world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor.
The privately funded piece was estimated to cost around $6 million, but actually ended up being $23 million. The sculpture is made of 168 stainless steel plates welded together with a highly polished exterior with no visible seams.
Cloud Gate was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture’s surface reflects and distorts the city’s skyline. You can walk around and under the 12-foot high arch.
Walking towards the other side of the park, I came upon the Crown Fountain. This interactive video sculpture was named in honor of Chicago’s Crown family. It cost $17 million and opened in July of 2004.
The fountain was designed by conceptual artist, Jaume Plensa. It is composed of a black granite reflecting pool placed between a pair of transparent glass brick towers.
The 50-foot towers use LEDs behind the bricks to display digital videos on their inward faces.
Water spouts from the subjects’ mouths around every 5 minutes.
201 E Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60602