The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Calendar & Projects


Ongoing Initiatives

Burnham Island Restoration

Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery will restore the landscape design of Burnham Island, attributed to Ossian Cole Simonds, Superintendent of Graceland Cemetery during the time of the development of Burnham Island, as the place of interment for my Burnham and his immediate family.  

Graceland Cemetery has also partnered with the Chicago Architecture Foundation to offer special tours of the Burnham Island on Saturday, August 1 and Saturday, September 12, 2009. Additional tours my be offered. [MORE]

Devil in the White City Bus Tour

Chicago Architecture Foundation

This tour, offered May - September, combines a slide show of historic photos from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition with a bus tour to important sites from the Fair. The 1893 Fair was a turning point for Chicago, and Daniel Burnham was at the helm organizing and creating much of its success. This tour elaborates on stores from Erik Larson's best-selling book and creates the context for the book's remarkable events.

Tours run from 10am - 1:15pm on the following dates: [MORE]

1909 Plan of Chicago/Daniel Burnham Related Tours

Chicago Architecture Foundation

These docent-led tours touch upon buildings and designs that highlight aspects of the 1909 Plan of Chicago and/or the works of Daniel Burnham and his colleagues. Click links below for full schedule and reservation information.

Historic Downtown (north loop) Culture & Commerce [MORE]

Blueprints to Our Past Tour

Museum of Science and Industry

This tour takes you both in and outside the Museum of Science and Industry as well as back in time to its origins as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1893 World's Fair. Using the building's architecture as the guide, you'll see a story that spans more than a hundred years, two World's Fairs and more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space. This tour will also include a virtual simulation of the 1893 Fair's White City, created by Lisa Snyder of the UCLA Media Lab. [MORE]

Daniel Burnham: Architect, Planner, Leader

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Created for the Centennial of the 1909 Plan of Chicago, this walking tour explores Burnham's career through examples of his work in Chicago's Loop. Learn about Burnham's impact on the architecture and planning professions as well as his unique ability to work with creative talent and community leaders to accomplish great feats.

Tours run from 1:30- 3:30 p.m. on the following dates: [MORE]

The Rookery Building Tour

Chicago Architecture Foundation

One of Chicago's most famous and beloved historic buildings, the Rookery, was designed by Daniel Burnham and John Wellbon Root from 1886-1888. This 45-minute lunch time tour will explore both the exterior and interior of this landmark. Marvel at the exquisite beauty and granderu of the highly ornamented brick and granite exterior, which some liken to a Moorish castle. Learm more about the method of construction and how the architects employed a combination of designes to maximize light and air in this early office building. [MORE]

Talks with the Team

Burnham Pavilions

Talks with the Team is a series of free informal tours of, and talks about the Burnham Pavilions featuring the staff and professionals involved with the project. The tours, which start at 5:30 pm every other Wednesday from July through October, give the public the opportunity to learn directly from the insiders about the planning, design, construction, techniques, artistry and technology involved in making the Burnham Pavilions a reality. Each team member brings their own emphasis to the talk, and will share their unique perspective. The schedule includes: [MORE]

Santa Fe Building Tour

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Discover why the Santa Fe Building is considered a crown jewel of Chicago’s gilded age of architecture and the epitome of early skyscraper development during the evolution of the first Chicago School of Architecture. Designed in 1904 by D.H. Burnham & Co., you will learn the message this building has for 21st century architecture and planning.

Upcoming tour dates: [MORE]

Burnham Pavilions "Ask Me" Docents

Volunteer docents are on-site daily in Millennium Park to provide information and answer questions regarding the temporary Burnham Centennial Exhibit. "ASK ME" docents are present during weekends, high-traffic lunchtime and early evening hours on weekdays, as well as during special events in Millennium Park, June 19-November 1. [MORE]

Community Showcase Tours

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The Bold Plans, Big Dreams Community Showcase program is a collaborative, capacity-building program designed to generate local pride and build momentum for implementing bold plans in Chicago's diverse neighborhoods. [MORE]

Millennium Park: Bold Planners. Big Dreamers. You.

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

This do-it-yourself field trip guide to Millennium Park contains nine hands-on activities for elementary students with an emphasis on the city infrastructure. Features include the park’s history, maps and attractions, including Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), Pritzker Pavilion, the Lurie Garden, Crown Fountain and the underground train station. Millennium Park provides a lively, modern illustration of many of the themes of the Plan of Chicago— the importance of open space, transportation infrastructure and architectural integrity. [MORE]

The Burnham Plan Centennial
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