Anyone lucky enough to call Chicago home, knows that Grant Park is our crown jewel. It is often called Chicago’s “front yard”, and if you’ve chosen to rent an apartment near here, it’ll be your front yard. Grant Park covers 319 acres of the Chicago Loop community area and is home to Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and miles of beautiful shoreline. Grant Park borders Lake Michigan on its east and is situated in the center of the city, fully surrounded by the Loop and the Near South Side. It’s very easy to get to Grant Park, with access to all of the Loop’s trains just a short walk away.
Chicago’s Grant Park was just railroad tracks, squatters’ homes, and landfill until Montgomery Ward sued the city in 1890 and demanded they clean it up. The Art Institute building was constructed in 1892 and the park acquired its name soon after. A formal park structure was commissioned based upon French landscaping principles and the railroads were rerouted below street level. In 1998 the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium were linked together as the Museum Campus then in 2004 Millennium Park was added.
The Lollapalooza Festival that takes place every summer in Grant Park attracts over 300,000 people over the course of three days.
Grant Park is art. It is filled with outdoor art and monuments and surrounded by museums. Visitors and residents of Chicago alike cannot resist the park’s charm, on any nice day you’ll find it is quite crowded, especially near the Cloud Gate “Bean”. With a little effort, one can find a quiet spot in one of the gardens to have a picnic or read a book. Careful not to wander into a wedding though, Grant Park is a very popular place to take wedding photos.
Although you can’t live in the actual park, luxury high-rises lining Michigan Ave and Roosevelt Rd will give you a great view. Expect to pay a premium to have such a big yard: one-bedroom apartments rent for $2,000 at the low end. People generally seek to own their homes here instead of renting apartments.
The Petrillo Music Shell at the north end of the park hosts the annual Chicago Jazz and Chicago Blues Festivals. In addition to being an amazing venue, they’re both free. Agora by Magdalena Abakanowicz is a thought provoking installation featuring over 100 headless figures each 9 ft tall and made of iron. Try to make it to the park on a weekday to have a more intimate experience, time it right and you might catch one of the Buckingham Fountain’s nightly light & music shows.