My husband insisted that we go to Millennium Park. We had one day left before returning home, and we were flying out of Chicago. A friend dropped us off after lunch at a riverside restaurant. It was hot.
I didn't know what the point was. The sun was beating down, it was rather humid and I was having visions of cooling off at the Art Institute. But my husband was insistent. We kept moving forward. I sensed his excitement.
And then we arrived at the Crown Fountain. No still photo could communicate the experience, but click on the link anyway. People of all ages were gathered to cool off in the spray. Children frolicked--yes,they still do that--dancing and laughing in the mist. Others rested on benches at the periphery. Many were gathered to watch the amazing video component of the fountains. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.
I began to pay attention.
When we arrived at the Jay Pritzger Pavillion I started taking pictures.
On the top left you see the Pavillion. It is beautiful. Speakers are mounted overhead on the arches, so that the sound quality of performances is superb. A large screen on the back wall of the stage amplifies the visual experience. Running along the back of the concert area was a large hedge. You see it top right. It provided definition to the Pavillion space. Wait--was it a hedge? I moved closer.
No, it wasn't just a hedge. All of those plants were growing within a metal frame to provide a living wall. And when you walked around the wall there was a delicious alcove with steps to sit on, by a pool of water. People were pausing to rest, cool their feet.
A living wall. Definition to the space.
Finally I understood why my husband had made me come along. I was witness to the amazing, creative, ground-breaking park that is to Chicago what the Inner Arbor plan is for Columbia. And he knew that I had to be there, had to experience it, and bring that experience back home with me.
He truly is a keeper, that man.
"Today, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park represents an unprecedented public-private partnership, and has become a thoroughly modern achievement for Chicago in the tradition of its original founders."
Tomorrow I'll be delving into what I think is the biggest surprise of all about Milennium Park, and its stupefying Columbia connection.