(CBS) — It has become one of the hottest tourist attractions in Chicago over the past decade, turning an underutilized part of the lakefront into a spectator spectacle.
CBS 2’s Rob Johnson takes us on an anniversary tour of Millennium Park.
The 24-acre marvel became a reality in 2004. Ed Uhlir, with the Millennium Park Foundation, fought through the challenges then and now is taking bows.
“This is an incredible space, and no other city in the world has something like this, and no other city in the world has the type of free programming available here at Millennium Park,” he says.
Just this week, that free programming included a tribute to DJ Frankie Knuckles — an event that attracted 10,000.
But every day, visitors come for attractions like the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, the Pritzker Pavilion, and AT & T Plaza and Cloudgate. The latter, also known as “The Bean,” is probably the most popular and identifiable attraction.
“It’s becoming the most popular piece of public art in the world,” Uhlir says.
Uhlir loves the Lurie Garden, which as 120 varieties of perennials and requires no fertilizer.
Another favorite: the expansive Pritzker Pavilion, which hosts 60 to 80 free concerts a year.
Uhlir estimates Millennium Park helps bring in $1.2 billion tourism dollars a year to Chicago. For more information about the park’s 10th anniversary and related events, click here.