In 1909, architect Daniel Burnham gave our region a visionary plan for becoming one of the most livable, prosperous places of the 20th Century—with a spectacular lakefront, open spaces and dynamic transportation systems. Even at that early date, Burnham visions encompassed a sweeping, three-state region from Racine, Wisconsin to Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana.
In 2009, a regional celebration of Burnham’s world-famous plan will inspire big new Burnham-like ideas to make our region one of the world’s great places to live and work in the 21st Century. The Centennial will kick off on June 19, with a celebration in Millennium Park that includes a new work for the Grant Park Symphony and Chorus composed by American Michael Torke and inspired by Burnham’s Plan.
Two temporary architectural pavilions designed by world renowned architects Zaha Hadid (London) and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio (Amsterdam) and installed in Millennium Park will serve as a focal point for the centennial. These Burnham Pavilions are intended to symbolize Chicago’s ongoing commitment to cutting-edge urban design and planning.
While many events and programs will recognize the history of the plan, the centennial’s main thrust will be to create major regional legacies—such as expansion of parks, trails and open spaces and a world-class transportation system. Centennial activities also will help shape the Chicago region’s official government master plan, called “GO TO 2040,” being developed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
The three-state celebration also will feature hundreds of high-profile events that mirror the Plan’s tremendous local impact, its vast geographic scope and its global influence.
With the theme “Bold Plans, Big Dreams,” the Centennial is designed to inspire residents and leaders to take concrete steps toward a new vision that builds on Burnham’s success and positions this region as a leader amid global economic competition. “The original Plan set the first gold standard for inspired regional planning,” said George A. Ranney, co-chairman of the Centennial Committee. “It remains recognized around the world."
For more information: http://burnhamplan100.uchicago.edu
The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation support for the Burnham Plan Centennial goes to advance several “Green Legacy” projects that, when completed, will fill critical, unfinished gaps in the region’s green infrastructure. These projects include: preservation of the last four miles of Chicago’s lakefront park; creation of Hack-ma-tack National Wildlife Refuge; increased visibility and signage for the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie; and implementation of the Marquette Plan for Northern Indiana.