Chicago unveils its new art park Friday

July 14, 2004 at 10:40 AM
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CHICAGO, July 14 (UPI) -- Chicago will open its $475 million Millennium Park, a display space for new art and architecture on Friday.

The new art park is a makeover of Grant Park near the Art Institute and includes a band shell by leading American architect Frank Gehry, the city announced earlier this week.

Originally scheduled to have opened in the year 2000, the project was expanded from 16 acres to 24.5 acres, increasing the cost to the city from $150 million to $270 million. Another $205 million was raised by private donors to build and endow the architecture at the site, add an ice-skating rink, a colonnade and promenade, and a pedestrian bridge also designed by Gehry to connect the park with the Lake Michigan waterfront.

Visitors to the park on Friday will visit the 4,000-seat Gehry band shell with a 120-foot tall proscenium topped by the architect's signature metallic ribbons.

Also on view will be British artist Anish Kapoor's first public sculpture in the United States in the form of mirrored metallic ellipses of immense size that will reflect the sky and the city, a fountain cascading from two 50-foot towers designed by Catalan artist Jaume Piensa, and a 2.5 acre garden designed by British landscapist Kathryn Gustafson, who designed the Princess Diana Memorial in London.

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