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Grant Park Tour - Chicago, Illinois
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 41° 52.546 W 087° 37.140
16T E 448636 N 4636168
Quick Description: Grant Park is often referred to as Chicago's "front yard" and showcases some of the best views, museums, art, and architecture that the city has to offer.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 8/22/2007 4:04:55 PM
Waymark Code: WM2248
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 105

Long Description:
Grant Park was first proposed in 1835 when citizens wanted to save a portion of the city's lakefront from commercial development. The result was that the park's original area east of Michigan Avenue was designated "public ground forever to remain vacant of buildings." Other than the Art Institute of Chicago this portion of the park is still building-free. As surrounding property was added, increasing the size of the park, museums were built in that section of the park, on its south end. On the north end of the park a new park has been added in the late 1990's called "Millenium Park". See the Millenium Park Tour for more information about it.

I'll now take you on a tour of some of the highlights of the park starting out at the famous Buckingham Fountain.

Buckingham Fountain - N 41° 52.546 W 087° 37.140
According to the park district's Website, "Edward H. Bennett designed the fountain to represent Lake Michigan with four sea horses, built by Marcel Loyau, to symbolize the four states that touch the lake: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Bennett attributed the design specifically to the influence of the Latona Basin in Louis XIV's gardens at Versailles."

The fountain can be seen in all its glory from April to mid October, depending on weather. It runs from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily and every hour on the hour for 20 minutes the fountain produces a major water display and the center jet shoots 150 feet into the air. At dusk the fountain's show is accompanied by lights and music.

Art Institute of Chicago - N 41° 52.780 W 087° 37.482
The museum is know for its large collection of Impressionist and American art. Some of the well known pieces in the collection: American Gothic by Grant Wood, Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat, the America Windows by Marc Chagall, and many, many other impressive works.

The building that the museum is located in was built in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition as the World's Congress Auxiliary Building with the intent being that the Institute would occupy the space following the fair.

Field Museum - N 41° 51.973 W 087° 37.024
The Field Museum is one of the world's greatest natural history museums with a collection of over 20 million objects (just under 1 percent are displayed.)

Following the success of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, a group of prominent Chicagoans decided to create a museum with objects from the fair. With funding from Marshall Field they opened, in 1894, the Columbian Museum of Chicago in the Palace of the Fine Arts. The lodging proved too small and in 1921 its current home - a white marble, neo-classical structure - was built and the Field Museum was opened.

Agora - N 41° 52.081 W 087° 37.403
The statue Agora, by Magdalena Abakanowicz, incorporates the figures of 106 headless abstracted 9 foot tall human figures. The hollow figures wander about along a stretch of land on the south end of Grant Park. Each is hand molded and made to resemble the texture of tree trunks.

The 2.5 million dollar piece was a gift from the artist and the Polish Ministry of Culture. The Parks have raised $800,000 needed for the installation and maintenance of the piece, thanks to some help from Robin Williams, an Abakanowicz fan.

John G. Shedd Aquarium - N 41 52.056 W 087 36.884
John G. Shedd Aquarium is an indoor aquarium that opened in 1930 and for some time was the largest indoor aquarium in the world. It is the 2nd most popular cultural attraction in the city.

It contains 2100 species including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects – all housed in the beautiful Greek revival style building complete with doric columns and an aquatic motif featuring the Greek God of the seas, Poseidon.

Adler Planetarium - N 41° 51.981 W 087° 36.407
The Adler Planetarium's collections of astronomical tools are still one of the most important collections in the world. Adults will find the historical aspects of the Adler fascinating, while the interactive exhibits will keep the kids excited. It's a great place for a family to spend the day.

The building is monumental and grand looking as it perches on its location on Northerly Island, surrounded by Lake Michigan. From its spot on the island, the views of the city over the lake are magnificent. Make sure to take the time to wander around outside as well as within.

Man Enters the Cosmos by Henry Moore - N 41° 51.981 W 087° 36.407
Adler Planetarium is built on a manmade "island", an arm that juts out onto Lake Michigan. Named "Northerly Island" this 91 acre plot of land has some of the best skyline and lake views to be found in the city. Adjacent to the planetarium is this sculptural sundial by the artist Henry Moore. It is a bowstring equatorial type of sundial and from its location you can enjoy incredible views of the lake and the city skyline. The sundial was placed in honor of the United States successes in space exploration.
You've now completed the tour of Grant Park. At this point you can either kick back on the shores of Lake Michigan and enjoy the view, or wander back to explore one of the great museums you wandered by on the tour. I hope you enjoyed this tour of Chicago's front yard.

Recommended Time for this WayTour: From: 8:00 AM To: 7:00 PM

Stop Coordinates:
See description

Number of Stops: 6

Website of stops: [Web Link]

Starting Address for this WayTour: Not listed

Stop Website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
You must include an original photo showing one of the stops along the tour route.
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