Millennium Park is a public park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within Cook County, Illinois, United States.
It is a prominent civic center of the citys Lake Michigan lakefront.
Completed in 2004, it covers a 24.5-acre (99,000 m2) section of northern Grant Park, previously occupied by Illinois Central railyards and parking lots.
The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art.
Today, Millennium Park trails only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction.
Planning of the park began in October 1997. Construction began in October 1998 and was completed in July 2004. Millennium Park, which has become the worlds largest rooftop garden, was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004 as part of a three-day celebration that included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. 300,000 people took part in the grand opening festivities.
The parks design and construction won awards ranging from accessibility to green design. Admission to the park is free. The park features the Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden and other attractions. The park is connected by bridges to other parts of Grant Park
The park is considered to be the citys most important project since the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893,and it far exceeded its originally proposed budget of $150 million. The final cost of $475 million was borne both by Chicago taxpayers and private donors. The city paid a total of $270 million and private donors paid the remainder. Private donors assumed roughly half of the financial responsibility for the cost overruns.
The park was finished four years behind schedule and cost approximately three times as much as was initially budgeted. Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley at first placed much of the blame for the delay and cost overrun on Frank Gehry, who designed several parts of the park.