Monday, March 1, 2010

Millennium Park

I think that the space in Millennium Park is similar to the open space that allowed for the creation of a new Chicago after the fire that occurred downtown, burning most of the city. Previously occupied by railyards and parking lots, the park-located in the heart of the city-is representative of Chicago as a contemporary destination. The new park transformed a previously ugly part of downtown into a site for tourists, artists, protestors, and musicians alike. At the turn of the Millennium, the park was built to offer an array of benefits to the city (economic, aesthetic, spatial).

The park consists of a collection of sculptures that in some way represent Chicago culture.

The bean (Cloud Gate), for example, brings Chicago's skyline down to the person viewing the sculpture. The bean emphasizes both the sky and land of the cityscape, depending on the angle at which it is viewed.

Another significant sculpture in the park is the Crown Fountain. The fountain displays people of all ages, races, and genders. The images projected on the two monoliths, separated by a puddle of water, are symbolic of the people who come from different classes, races, and genders that harmoniously occupy the city.

Overall, I think the park (I may be overanalyzing this) represents Chicago as the land of opportunity. I think this because the layout of the park (and many of the sculptures in the park) are very open and do not feel enclosed in any sort of way, perhaps symbolic of open possibilities for the city's inhabitants. The park's sculptures utilize both land and water, key resources for Chicago's development during the Industrial Era. This could be symbolic of Chicago's success throughout the Progressive Era.

the bean:
crown fountain:

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