Opening this month in the heart of Chicago, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park ( brings together some of the most innovative minds in contemporary art, architecture, landscape design, and sculpture. A formerly neglected plot of railroad tracks and parking lots, the urban green now houses the Kathryn Gustafson-designed Lurie Garden, a shady oasis at the park's southeast corner. Nearby, an elliptical stainless-steel structure by British sculptor Anish Kapoor reflects the surrounding jagged skyline. And a high-tech 50-foot glass fountain by Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa will project the faces of 1,000 Chicagoans. The park's centerpiece is the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a 4,000-seat band shell with a canopy-like trellis extending over a lawn that can accommodate an additional 7,000 concert-goers. The Grant Park Music Festival toasts its 70th anniversary and its new home with an inaugural gala concert of Verdi, Rachmaninoff, and Copland on July 16, followed by a series of free outdoor concerts ranging from Latin music (July 21) to Broadway classics (August 11). See page 36 for a special "Grant Park Music Festival Package."
—Raul Barreneche