Editorial: Millennium Park, a nationally recognized gem

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SHARE Editorial: Millennium Park, a nationally recognized gem

There is a lot to love about Millennium Park, so it’s no surprising that the American Planning Association just named it one of the “great public spaces” in the U.S.


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It’s up there with Balboa Park in San Diego, Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado, and the Flint Farmers’ Market in Michigan — all places chosen because they promote social interaction and a sense of community, according to the APA.

In short, these places are great because they enliven communities. Flint is known for its blighted areas and poverty, but its farmers’ market is a jewel.

Millennium Park is a gorgeous, 24.5-acre gem that breaks up all the steel, glass and concrete buildings and never-ending traffic downtown. “Once an industrial wasteland, Millennium Park’s remarkable transformation can be properly attributed to careful planning and thoughtful design,” the APA wrote on its website.

And if you don’t count that it cost taxpayers at least $95 million, part of the allure is that there is no admission fee.

Maybe you enjoy the free concerts. Or, maybe you go there for Crown Fountain, the two 50-foot glass block towers with a shallow reflecting pool between them that are a big draw for kids. Let’s not forget Cloud Gate, more commonly known as the Bean, the 110-ton shiny stainless steel installation art piece that has become an iconic backdrop for photographs.

There is much to do and much to love.

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