Centennial of Burnham’s Plan of Chicago

June 19, 2009
Ben Van Berkel's Design

Ben Van Berkel's Design

‘Make no little plans’ Daniel Burnham once quipped and that statement was never more true of the man who 100 years ago, released his essay Plan of Chicago.  In 1909 the plan was intended to serve as a guide as to what Chicago could be in the future, focusing on six major physical elements that shape Chicago real estate:

  1. improving the lakefront
  2. developing a highway system
  3. improving the freight and passenger railway systems
  4. acquisition of an outer park system
  5. arranging systematic streets
  6. creation of a civic center of cultural institutions and government

Conceived as a blueprint for action, the Plan of Chicago’s results are everywhere without much notice to the casual observer.  North Michigan Avenue and vast array of parks and public spaces in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are but just a few examples.

To honor Daniel Burnham and the legacy in which we enjoy in Chicagoland, the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee opened the two ‘Burnham Pavilions’ today in Millennium Park.  Ben Van Berkel of Amsterdam and Zaha Hadid of London designed the two pavilions and both incorporated the famous diagonal streets in to their structures.

“Public art and visionary design are necessary for any city to play a global leadership role in the 21st century,” said John Bryan, co-chairman of the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, which raised donations to pay for the $1 million pavilions. “These two Burnham Pavilions make bold statements to the world, as did Millennium Park, about Chicago’s confidence in its future.”

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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