The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Calendar & Projects


Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago

  Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago

Exhibit :

Don't miss the last of five insightful rotations of rarely displayed prized illustrations created for the Plan of Chicago. This final exhibit showcase  images from Chapter VII of the Plan: Heart of the City which feature the proposed Civic Center at Halsted and Congress Streets. This year-long exhibit has been curated by the Department of Architecture and Design.

A noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”

Architect Daniel Burnham’s words are certainly prophetic of his masterful and monumental 1909 Plan of Chicago. This urban-planning document, unprecedented in size and scope, created city treasures still cherished today—the string of stunning lakefront parks, suburban forest preserves, the wide boulevard of North Michigan Avenue, the bi-level Wacker Drive, and a broadened Congress Parkway. The plan’s legacies, however, are more than simply physical; Burnham promoted innovative concepts that remain goals for Chicago’s vibrant future, including weaving the city into the regional fabric and creating abundant public spaces to foster community.

Yet, Burnham was as savvy as he was visionary. Knowing his plans would need convincing images to garner support, he engaged noted artists to produce 142 new illustrations. Maps, diagrams, perspective drawings, and even striking watercolors gloriously realize Burnham’s ideas.


Program Partner

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, first stood on the southwest corner of State and Monroe Streets. It opened on its present site at Michigan Avenue and Adams Street in 1893. Built ...[MORE]

This program was offered on these dates:
Exhibit : Sunday, September 14, 2008 to Monday, January 18, 2010

Art Institute of Chicago

Cost: Museum Admission


The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL
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The Burnham Plan Centennial
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