Daniel Burnham was the visionary whose Burnham Plan of 1909 illustrated a plan for museums, parks and prominent landmarks along Lake Michigan. Grant Park was to be reserved as an open space for the general public instead of being greedily developed into a mishmash of industrial and commercial buildings. Now locals enjoy activities like softball, cycling, and rollerblading in the park.
Prominent buildings like the Art Institute, Chicago Cultural Center, and the three buildings of the Museum Campus face Grant Park. Its presence along the lakefront is a comforting relief from urban congestion and blandness.
Buckingham Fountain is the landmark and focal point of the design of the vast Grant Park. The area surrounding the fountain is designed like a casual French landscape garden, with fine gravel paths leading to the Beaus Arts monument. The fountain, designed by Edward H. Bennett, was built in 1927. The dynamic bronze sculptures of the fountain were the creations of sculptor Marcel Francois Loyau. Its grand sprays and displays of water mark the ongoing summertime period, as the fountain is turned off upon the onset of fall. Modern technology allows for dynamic and colorful light displays that blend in with the churning jets of water. A summertime stroll past the fountain is a must if you are visiting downtown. There are a few food and souvenir vendors in the immediate area if watching dancing waters makes you thirsty.
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
November 9, 2005
From journal Weekend in Chicago
August 10, 2003
From journal Bill at home in CHICAGO - Activities
December 31, 2001
From journal The Chicago city