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The sculpture is shaped like a kidney bean, hence the name Bean, and was inspired by of all things, liquid mercury. Despite having 168 steel panels welded together, the Bean has no visible seams and is highly reflective due to an intense polishing process, which makes it a magnet for every selfie enthusiast that visits Chicago.
How The Bean Looks At Night
The Beans reflective surfaces of the surrounding skyline at Millennium Park are in full blow even at night. So, you can experience the citys energy along with the Michigan Avenue skyline in the sculpture. But if you want to take pictures, come in the evening as the light is perfect during that time.
The Millennium Park closes at 11 pm, so you have plenty of time to spend at the Bean before going out for some late-night adventures downtown.
The Chicago Bean Explained
First off, where is the Chicago Bean located? It can be found in the heart of Chicago. Specifically, you can find it in Millennium Park, a lakefront park in the Loop or downtown Chicago. The Chicago Bean is 33 feet high, 43 feet wide, and 66 feet long. It also weighs a massive 110 tons.
The Bean is completely made up of stainless steel. It was created by putting together 168 massive steel plates and welding them shut to create a seamless finish. The interior is made up of two large metal rings that connect by a framework. This framework is similar to what you might see on a bridge.
It allows the weight of the sculpture to be on the two end points, which creates the bean shape. In addition, the Beans stainless steel exterior is connected to the frame with flexible connectors. This allows the plates to expand and contract depending on weather changes.
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Can You Go Inside The Chicago Bean
As exciting as that prospect sounds, you cannot go inside the large-scale outdoor works. The sculpture is seamless as the steel plates have been welded into place. So, there is no way for you to go inside it.
However, you can go underneath the public art and marvel at the multiple reflections of the beautiful surroundings south of Monroe Street.
How To Reserve Your Spot
To find cheap parking near the Bean, select your preferred days and times at the top of this page. After that, click apply to view the available options. To see details on each facility, you can scroll through the list on the left or click on a pin from the map. When you are ready to reserve a spot, make sure you will be able to enter the facility after your start time and leave the facility before your exit time because this is important!
To get the lowest parking rates, reserve today before rates change!
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More information on Cloud Gate and other Chicago attractions? Click Here!
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What Does The Chicago Bean Represent
The Chicago Bean is in the downtown Loop community area, situated in Millennium Park as a famous symbol among the citys incredible skyline. The reflective surface of the sculpture was inspired by liquid mercury.
Its unique reflective properties of the high arch reflect visitors who are moving in Millennium Park along with the citys skyline, green spaces, and Michigan Avenues light.
Since the sculpture is shaped like a bean, it has a curved underside, allowing visitors to go underneath it and view their reflection. That is why the British artist named it Cloud Gate.
When you walk under the curvature, the reflection can capture Chicagos beautiful skyline and give the illusion of a gateway into the clouds.
Visitors can also touch the public art at Millennium Park since it was meant to be an interactive experience. Moreover, you can walk underneath it, touching the sides of the sculpture.
Cleaners come several times a day and wipe off the fingerprints using cleaners polish to keep the Bean in its pristine condition.
Moreover, the maintenance team comes twice a year to buff and polish the entire sculpture, maintaining its condition.
The Cloud Gate Bean As A Public Art Piece
Since the opening of Millennium Park behind the Park Grill Restaurant above McCormick Tribune Plaza, the area has been criticized as being an elitist place. It is frequented by people who are wealthier than the average Chicagoan.
Regardless of this, it offers a spectacular view for everyone in the northwest corner of the Park. It is a unique destination of the lakefront park green space that is well worth the visit!
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The Reflective Steel Sculpture Material
The Bean, in all its glory, stuns visitors regularly. The shiny and reflective exterior surface of the sculpture is due to a stainless-steel build. Computer technology was used to perfect the assembly and cutting of the shape to precision.
One hundred sixty-eight steel plates were used in making this structure. They were welded and fitted together to give the sculpture a seamless finish.
On the inside, the Bean has two metal rings that form a grid-like network, stabilizing the structures shape. The exterior structure is attached to the interior grid through flexible connectors that let the Bean contract and expand as the weather and temperatures change.
The mechanism and truss framework of Kapoors design is like constructed bridges and railway tracks.
Many people wonder how such a huge structure stands on two base points in the green space in McCormick Tribune Plaza. Its due to the thoughtful design of the Bean. It allows the massive, weighted structure to stabilize two base points, creating a bean shape.
As a result, there is a concave area under the Bean where people can walk or stand to take pictures. The sculptor wanted the Bean to be an interactive experience, so the design was made this way.
Fun Facts About The Chicago Bean
The Cloud Gate in Chicagos Millennium Park, or better known as the Chicago Bean is a stand-out landmark in the city. The Chicago Bean stands as one of the worlds largest permanent outdoor art installations. And as one of Chicagos most photographed landmarks, The Bean is a popular spot for tourists to enjoy during their vacation. But whats the story behind this magnificent sculpture? Theres more than what meets the eye. Learn more with these fun facts about the Chicago Bean.
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Whats The Bean Made Out Of
The exterior of The Bean is made entirely of stainless steel. It was created using computer technology to precisely cut 168 massive steel plates, which were then fitted together and welded shut for a completely seamless finish.
Inside, its made of a network of two large metal rings. The rings are connected via a truss framework, similar to what you might see on a bridge. This allows the sculptures massive weight to be directed to its two base points, creating the iconic bean shape and allowing for the large concave area beneath the structure.
The Beans steel exterior is attached to the inside frame with flexible connectors that let it expand and contract as the weather changes.
Stay At The Penthouse At Grand Plaza
During your next visit to Chicago, be sure to visit the Chicago Bean and The Penthouse at Grand Plaza. Take in the city views when you book one of our high-rise penthouses in downtown Chicago. During your stay, enjoy luxurious furnishings, spacious surroundings, a private balcony, and high-end amenities. We offer one, two, and three-bedroom penthouses. Come see what we are about and discover what Chicago is all about!
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What Does The Bean In Chicago Represent
. Regarding this, why is the bean important to Chicago?
The bean is a large public sculpture that was unveiled at the opening of Millennium Park in 2004. It now serves as a famous symbol of Chicago and is one of the city’s most photographed attractions. The Bean is one of the best ways to capture Chicago’s beautiful skyline while still being in the photo.
Also, what is inside the bean in Chicago? Inside, The Bean actually looks more like an old pirate ship, containing a wooden frame and beams that help support the 110-ton structure as it shrinks and expands. The exterior has been welded shut and polished to be seamless, and terms state that the 168-piece structure remain standing until 3006.
Also asked, what Kind of Bean is the Chicago Bean?
Cloud Gate is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. Nicknamed the Bean, it is the centerpiece of the AT& T Plaza in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
What happened to the bean in Chicago?
7 arrested in vandalism of ‘The Bean,’ popular Chicago sculpture in Millennium Park. Seven people were arrested for vandalizing two of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks soon after midnight on Tuesday. Cloud Gate, commonly referred to as The Bean, and the Cancer Survivors’ Wall were tagged with spray-painted graffiti.
Visiting Cloud Gate Chicagos Iconic Bean
Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.
Prior to our first visit to the Windy City, we placed the Cloud Gate Sculpture, otherwise known as the Bean, firmly on our must-see list of things to experience. Im not sure why it was so important for us to see it, but it was. So, no sooner had we landed at Midway Airport and taken the Orange Line into the city than we headed off to Millennium Park to see what all the fuss was about.
Beautiful Millennium Park
I must say that the setting for this one-of-a-kind structure is very impressive. Set in the beautiful Millennium Park with the soaring Chicago skyline behind, it just begs visitors to congregate around this fairly new, yet very popular landmark. Cloud Gate itself is actually much larger than I anticipated, and you can walk underneath it, which I guess I had not noticed from just seeing pictures of it. Anyway, as we eagerly approached the sculpture our anticipation of what one actually does when they get there began to set in.
You can look at yourself in the reflection.
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Explore Around The Chicago Bean
If you come to visit the Bean, there are plenty of things to explore in the area. Firstly, Cloud Gates arch leads you right into Millennium Park. It is also next to the McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. It is a multi-purpose venue that serves as an outdoor ice rink for four months a year. For the rest of the year, it is Park Grill Plaza, Chicagos largest outdoor dining facilities. It also hosts a variety of culinary and music events throughout the year.
Right in front of the Bean is the Chase Promenade. It is an 8 acres long tree-lined walkway that hosts a variety of exhibitions, festivals, and other events. The Harris Theater is also nearby. It is a 1,499-seat performing arts theater. It serves as Millennium Parks indoor performing venue for music and dance groups.
Additionally, there are plenty of apartment high-rises within walking distance from the Chicago Bean. This includes The Heritage, the Crain Communications Building, and Michigan Plaza.
History Of The Chicago Bean
The Chicago Bean is one of the major attractions in the city. Cloud Gate, commonly known as the Bean, is one of the most popular photographed attractions in the city for locals and tourists who visit Chicago to see its iconic sights.
It reflects the citys beautiful skyline and is arguably the best spot for a picture in Millennium Park. The sculpture was revealed to the public in 2006, two years after the widely visited Millennium Park opening. Over time, it has become a symbol of the city.
The following is a part of the history of the Chicago Bean at the Citys downtown park and how it became of the best attractions with a photo-taking opportunity since the opening of Millennium Park.
The Chicago Bean titled Cloud Gate Was Completed in February 2004 and is Considered a Chicago landmark.
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What Can I Do Near Cloud Gate
The sculpture is located in the center of Millennium Park, near , where outdoor concertsincluding several free onesare held in spring and summer. Lake Michigan is to the east from the west, skyscrapers reflect onto Cloud Gates surface. Just south of here is Crown Fountain, a pair of two towers that display digital images of Chicagoans who spout real streams of water into a pool. The floral oasis of the Lurie Garden is just a short walk away, and the is across the street from the gardens south end.
A History Of The Bean
Construction on Millennium Park began in 1999 with the goal to open in time to celebrate the new millennium. Delays and cost overruns meant the park ended up opening in 2004, nearly four years behind schedule. City planners considered several prominent artists before settling on a proposal by Sir Anish Kapoor for a major artistic installation. Concerns about Kapoor’s initial designs further delayed construction. Some feared the highly reflective surface might become dangerously hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Others worried it would be too cumbersome to maintain the necessary polish on a sculpture exposed to the elements. All of this meant Cloud Gate was unveiled only in 2006.
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What’s Inside The Bean
During design and construction of Cloud Gate, the engineers tasked with bringing Sir Anish Kapoor’s vision to fruition faced numerous challenges. In considering building materials, stainless steel was quickly rejected due to its tendency to absorb heat from the surrounding environment. Heating during the day followed by cooling at night might well have led to cracks or other imperfections appearing on the sculpture’s surface and thereby ruining the design. Ultimately, engineers took inspiration from tried and true methods used in the shipbuilding industry and selected a wooden structure that could expand and contract with changes in temperature. Contrary to some urban legends, there is actually nothing contained inside the Bean aside from the basic structural elements, though at one point there was a rudimentary construction office located inside.
Bean History: The Inside Story Behind Cloud Gate
According to a Chicago Tribune article from 2011, the citys mayor was at his dentist appointment when he realized that the train department across the office was an eyesore.
So, he decided that there should be a park here to beautify the area. Thats how Millennium Park came into being along with the Bean. As per the terms, the permanent public outdoor work with its closed curve shape will be there until 3006.
Many Chicagoans were critical of the highly polished exterior artwork at first, especially since it was erected during the Parks opening in 2004. However, it was still under construction during the inauguration of the Park.
Anish Kapoor did not finish the shiny exterior monumental work until May 2006, when the sculptures silvery surface became a magical visual to behold.
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