Grant Park is a 319 acre urban oasis in downtown Chicago. Originally known as Lake Park it was renamed in 1901 to honor Ulysses S. Grant. Grant Park is the home of many Chicago attractions including: Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road and McFetridge Drive, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan.
The park contains performance venues, gardens, outdoor sculptures and harbor facilities. It hosts many annual events and festivals: The Taste of Chicago the Grant Park Music Festival; Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. It is also the site of the start and finish lines of the Chicago Marathon. Lollapalooza is also held in Grant Park.
Championship celebrations were staged here for the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s, and the Chicago Blackhawks after Stanley Cup victories. In 2015, Grant Park hosted the first outdoor National Football League (NFL) draft and a related festival.
Grant Park has served as a venue for many historic events in Chicago: it was the staging ground for the city’s funeral procession for Abraham Lincoln. Pope John Paul II celebrated an outdoor mass to a large crowd here in 1979. The park was the location for President Barack Obama’s Election Day victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008.
The park’s area has been expanded several times through land reclamation, In the early 20th century, Grant Park was expanded with landfill and was blessed with a formal landscape design by Edward Bennett. More landfill in the 1910s and 1920s provided sites for the current Museum Campus which houses: the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Shedd Aquarium. In 2004, a section of Grant Park, previously occupied by Illinois Central railyards and parking lots, was covered and redeveloped as magnificent Millennium Park.
Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA, as seen from the Sears Tower in 1981. The rail yards and parking lot became Millennium Park, Richard J. Daley Bicenntennial Plaza is beyond with tennis courts and white squares. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com