The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Burnham Pavilions

These centerpieces for the Centennial inspired new ways to look at Chicago today and new visions for the Chicago of tomorrow. The temporary pavilions were on display free in Millennium Park June through November, 2009.


From the Chicago Tribune to the Wall Street Journal to BBC America, news outlets around the world gave the Centennial great coverage that is archived in the newsroom along with press releases and e-newsletters.


Generous support from foundations, corporations and individuals made the Centennial possible.

Program Partners

Hundreds of community and not-for-profit organizations, educational and cultural institutions, public agencies and others throughout the Chicago region hosted an array of history and future-focused activities.

The Burnham Blog

Urban affairs writer Patrick T. Reardon blogged an entertaining body of work on the people, plans and ideas shaping metropolitan Chicago's future. Look through his chronicle of the Centennial's voices and faces.

Multimedia Gallery

Experience the Centennial through pictures, videos and online exhibits. This section offers a variety of ways to see and experience what's happened throughout this Centennial year. Images featured include construction sequences of both Burnham Pavilions as well as videos documenting their exhibition in Millennium Park.

Make Big Plans

Make Big Plans was a Centennial exhibit displayed at more than 60 public libraries during 2009. While the exhibit is still visible in a number of locations, an on-line version of the library exhibit is also accessible here. In addition, the Newberry Library has launched an interactive Make Big Plans website with extensive information about the Plan of Chicago and its legacies.

Calendar Highlights

More than 300 civic, community, cultural and educational organizations honor the enduring spirit of the Plan of Chicago with a stunning array of exhibits, school programs, lectures, tours, Green Legacy projects and bold new plans.

Green Legacy Projects

The Centennial shined a spotlight on our region's "green infrastructure" – its networks of open spaces and natural areas – as it worked with Openlands to advance more than 20 Green Legacy projects. While the Centennial helped to close critical gaps in this infrastructure, there is still much more to do. Explore the Green Legacy Project page to learn what was accomplished and what organizations are doing to keep improving and expanding open spaces and natural areas.

Burnham Plan Centennial Archive

The Art Institute of Chicago's Ryerson and Burnham Libraries is serving as the respository of  the Burnham Plan Centennial archives.

Burnham Plan Centennial

The Burnham Plan Centennial
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