Millennium Park is an urban, man-made cultural public space in the central business district of Chicago (i.e., 'The Loop'). The Park is bounded to the west by one of the most iconic streets in Chicago: Michigan Avenue; while being bounded by Randolph Street on the north, Columbus Drive on the east, and Monroe Street on the south.
The planning and development of Millennium Park represents one of the most significant public-private partnerships in the modern era of public space design. Both the City of Chicago and Millennium Park Foundation brought unique and specific design criteria to the process—the former wanting to maintain the transportation and parking infrastructure of the site and the latter wishing to elevate the art, architecture, and design of the public cultural space. The unifying factor for both public and private entities was a clear understanding the role Millennium Park was to play as a capstone to Daniel Burnham's vision, first laid-out in 1909, for a free and public Chicago lakefront. Millennium Park is designed and operated as a year-round public cultural space structured around monumental works of public art and architecture, as well as hundreds of free public cultural performances and activities. The Park's location—a previously disused rail yard and gravel parking lot—establishes it as a central cultural hub for Chicago accessible by multiple modes of public and personal transportation while also bringing much needed 'green' space to Chicago's central business district and nearby residential neighborhoods.
While Millennium Park's site is considered 'built out' with no physical space for additional footprint to be added, Park users are welcomed by seasonal and annual changes in landscape/gardens, programming, and public art installations. For example, the Park's numerous small gardens have all been designed to reflect seasonal changes in Chicago's environment—spring flowering bulbs, summer native prairie plants, and dormant plant remnants left upright during the winter months. Another example, the installation of temporary public art exhibitions in the Boeing Galleries that change every 18-24 months.