What's in a Name? A Chicago Attraction

I love Chicago.  I have lived here for many years but I discover something new each time I venture out of my door.

There is a very popular attraction in Chicago that attracts millions of tourist each year. However, if you ask them what the name of it is, most of them will proudly and confidently call it The Bean.  That, my friends, would be the wrong answer.  The kidney bean shaped attraction located in the center of AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, downtown Chicago is actually named Cloud Gate.

The sculpture, created by British artist Anish Kappor, took two years to construct and was dedicated on May 15, 2006. Ms. Kappor’s inspiration was liquid mercury and true to her vision the outside shows no visible seams. It wasn't an easy task, however.  There were so many technical concerns to work out including how to maintain and clean it.  There were experts who thought that her concept and design was impossible and Cloud_Gate_(The_Bean)_from_east'could not be done.  Where there is a will there is a way.

Before it was unveiled, there was a lot of speculation on what was under the drape.  I was working in the Loop at the time and my office took bets on what was actually being so secretively worked on in Millennium Park.  Some thought it was going to be a statue of then Mayor Daley.  Others thought it was going to be yet another fountain.  I personally thought that it was going to be something recreational like interactive skate boarding track.  As you can now see, we were all wrong.

I think it is so popular because it reflects Chicago’s beautiful skyline from every angle. Children love to play under it while seeing their own reflections in it.  It's the only place you can take a picture of yourself and are enveloped in Chicago's beautiful architecture.

Whether you call it Cloud Gate or The Bean, it is a wonderful spot to visit and take a photo when you come to Chicago.

Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!

Bonnie DeShong

Co-host of The Traveling Eye Radio Program



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