The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

About the Centennial

Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham's Vision of an American Metropolis

Burnham 100 Bulletin
Bold Plans Big Dreams
June 24, 2009
Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham's Vision of an American Metropolis

The Newberry Library, in collaboration with the Centennial Committee, has created an exhibit to commemorate the Plan of Chicago and emphasize its relevance to metropolitan development throughout the 20th century and into the future. It will be displayed simultaneously at more than 50 libraries throughout the region as well as O'Hare and Midway International Airports from June until December.

The exhibit features panels spanning five central themes—Planners and Reformers, Rerouting the Metropolis, Nurturing Open Space, City and Region, and From City Beautiful to Green Metropolis— which contain vivid images from the original plan. For a complete list of venues, download the PDF. [MORE]

Daniel Burnham in the Philippines
June 1- July 15
Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton

This exhibit draws upon the Newberry Library's extensive collection of materials relating to the Philippines to place Burnham's Plans for Baguio City and Manila in an historical context that reveals several sometimes conflicting processes at play. [MORE]

Burnham Week at the Millennium Park Family Fun Tent
June 22-28: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daily
City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
North Chase Promenade, 201 E. Randolph

Join the Chicago Architecture Foundation in the Family Fun Tent for BURNHAM WEEK: BUILDING THE CITY. Celebrate Chicago's past, present and future with hands-on activities all week long. [MORE]

Build it with Burnham
June 25: 10:30-11:30 pm
Kenosha Public Library
711 59th Place, Kenosha

The Kenosha Public Library wants your children to build like Burnham! All they need is their imagination. This program gives kids the chance to explore the inspiration of Daniel Burnham as they dream up their own bold plans. [MORE]

An evening with Carl Smith
June 25: 7:00-8:30 pm
Orland Park Public Library
14921 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park

The Orland Park Public Library invites you to spend the evening with author Carl Smith. Professor Smith's illustrated talk will describe the history and influence of the Plan of Chicago. [MORE]

Make No Little Cakes at the Taste of Chicago
June 27: 1:00 pm
Eli's Cheesecake
Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park

Join Eli's Cheesecake for a special birthday party in honor of the Plan of Chicago, the Taste of Chicago and Eli's Cheesecake. The party features a giant cheesecake and free samples for everyone! [MORE]

1933 Century of Progress Discussion & Site Visit
Monday, June 29: 5:30-8:00 pm
DePaul University
Chaddick Institute, 243 South Wabash Ave.

Join noted scholar Lisa Schrenk to learn fascinating details about the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. We'll see striking images of the fairground and exposition buildings designed by Edward Bennett and the sons of Daniel Hudson Burnham. [MORE]

Checking the Gauge: The Legacy of Oil and Water Policy
June 30: 6:00-8:30 pm
Illiniois Humanities Council
Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton

The Illinois Humanities Council presents "Checking the Gauge," a presentation that will examine our dependency on oil and water. Topics discussed challenge audience members to question how the choices they make affect the region as a whole. [MORE]

Stay Connected!

As things start to speed up this summer, be sure to keep up with all of the incredible things happening. To keep up to date and connect with us and others who share our vision, check our website often. You can also sign up for e-news and e-postcards by clicking here.

Other ways to get involved:

  • Become friends with Daniel H. Burnham on Facebook
  • Follow Burnham100 on Twitter

Join in on the Centennial conversation and help stir our diverse community to action on a grand scale -building the best possible quality of life for all.

The 49th Annual Fourth of July Celebration at the Chicago History Museum will include a special Centennial Tribute including the presentation of the new Plan of Chicago: Centennial Edition publication. [MORE]


We're looking for dynamic "ASK ME" docents to greet guests and answer questions at the Burnham Pavillions in Millennium Park. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in architecture and design, Millennium Park, Chicago, Chicago history, Daniel Burnham or city planning to provide information about the two temporary pavilions designed by world renowned international architects UNStudio/Ben van Berkel and Zaha Hadid. You will also inform visitors about Daniel Burnham, the 1909 Plan of Chicago and the Burnham Plan Centennial and CMAP's Go To 2040 Plan. Volunteers are needed for two-hour shifts daily around lunchtime and early evening and during special events. Please click here for more information or email

For a full list of Burnham Plan Centennial programs scheduled throughout June, please view the calendar found here.

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The Burnham Plan Centennial
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