The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Program Partners


Chicago's civic leaders are rallying around the opportunity to continue the legacy of the Plan of Chicago through the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, chaired by John Bryan and George Ranney with Adele Simmons as Vice Chair. Staff support is provided by Chicago Metropolis 2020 with initial funding from the Chicago Community Trust.

For a synoposis of the Centennial, visit the Centennial Year in Review.

Partner Category: Civic and Non-Profit Organization

Centennial Activities

Exhibit : Friday, June 19, 2009 to Sunday, November 1, 2009

Burnham Pavilions

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The iconic centerpieces of the Burnham Plan Centennial are two temporary architectural pavilions in Millennium Park. World-renowned architects Zaha Hadid (London) and Ben van Berkel (UNStudio, Amsterdam) designed these bold pavilions to echo the audacious future-looking images and words of the Burnham Plan: “What we as a people decide to do in the [MORE]

Green Legacy Projects

Our region’s communities are connected through a network of open spaces and natural areas in what is called the green infrastructure. The Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, with the nonprofit organization Openlands, identified 21 Green Legacy Projects to close critical gaps in this infrastructure and continue to expand the green vision of the Plan of Chicago, realizing Burnham’s vision for a region-wide system of parks and open space. [MORE]

Exhibit : Friday, September 4, 2009 to Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big. Bold. Visionary. Chicago Considers the Next Century.

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago did more than provide a vision for Chicago in the 20th century. It established a precedent of dreaming big and thinking boldly that every generation of Chicagoans since has firmly embraced. This exhibition taps current Chicago architects, planners and landscape architects for their visions of the city and region in the 21st century and beyond. [MORE]

Bold Plans Big Dreams Education Initiative

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, with the generous support of the Polk Bros. Foundation, is collaborating with the DePaul Center for Urban Education and Chicago Public Schools to transform the way children learn about their communities, enrich their understanding of the region and engage a new generation in planning for our future. [MORE]

Plan of Chicago Centennial Edition

Great Books Foundation

The Centennial Edition of the Plan of Chicago is a high quality, yet affordable reprint of the 1909 Plan of Chicago by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett that enables residents throughout the region (and beyond) to access, study and learn from this important work, and better understand its profound impact on our region and on the modern profession of urban planning. [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]

Exhibit : Friday, June 19, 2009 to Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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

Newberry Library

The multi-format exhibition includes a photo-panel exhibit that will be simultaneously displayed at more than 60 libraries and other venues throughout the region from June - December 2009 and an online exhibition and slide show that contains the full list of Make Big Plans exhibit venues. Commemorating the publication of Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. [MORE]

Creating Tomorrow's Green Region

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

In celebration of the 21 Green Legacy Projects and their successes throughout the year, the Burnham Plan Centennial published Creating Tomorrow's Green Region. This booklet, released at the November 5, 2009  Our Green Metropolis: The Next 100 Years program, showcases the projects, explains the progress made this year, and highlights the next steps needed to preserve, protect and expand the region's green infrastructure. To download the booklet click here. [MORE]

Our Region Our Future

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

In order to examine the centennial year and explore opportunities to build on its momentum, the Burnham Plan Centennial produced Our Region. Our Future. This booklet, released at the December 8, 2009 final meeting of the program partners, offers images from the centennial's more than 1,000 program partner events and gives ideas on how to continue taking steps toward a better future for all.  To download the booklet click here. [MORE]

Friday, October 23, 2009 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Chicago and the American Metropolis: Urban Policy and Our Region's Future

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement Valerie B. Jarrett will look ahead to the future of our city and region and how we can benefit from new priorities being set by the first White House Office of Urban Affairs. This timely civic conversation will be moderated by George A. Ranney, President and CEO of Chicago Metropolis 2020.

Exhibit : Friday, June 5, 2009 to Sunday, October 4, 2009

El Proximo Centenario

National Museum of Mexican Art

El Proximo Centenario captures the spirit of imagination and innovation that the Burnham Plan represents, and reinvigorates the Plan’s tradition of having big dreams for the future through an arts initiative that engages young emerging Mexican Latino artists/architects and students involved in the WRTE-FM Radio Arte program. Participants will mainly comprise students and young artists of color from the city’s diverse, low-income communities of Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards. [MORE]

Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:00pm to 8:00pm

First Voice: A Youth Discussion on the Next Century

Radio Arte

Radio Arte will lead a youth discussion on the El Próximo Centenario (the Next Century) of Chicago. What will the next 100 years look like? The program will include the work of  youth who participated in Radio Arte’s summer training programs that explored: What will Chicago be like for youth of color? Immigrants? The LGBTQ community? Check out our presentation and listen to creative audio thoughts from Chicago’s future civic leaders. [MORE]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

Archimedia Workshop

This documentary film, making its world premiere at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, explores the fascinating life and complex legacy of architect and city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham and how his vision to organize the chaos of the nineteenth century America shaped the nation's towns and cities for generations. [MORE]

Saturday, November 14, 2009 2:30pm to 4:00pm

The Future of Chicago: How We Get There

Chicago Humanities Festival

A panel including: John Fregonese, a regional planning and transportation expert; Sadhu Johnston, former chief environmental officer for the City of Chicago; and Carlos Nelson, executive director, Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, considers practical and immediate solutions to questions about housing, education, transportation and the environment and sustainability in and around Chicago. WBEZ's Steve Edwards moderates. The Future of Chicago is part of the 2009 Chicago Humanities Festival. [MORE]

The Plan of Chicago: A Regional Legacy

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Learn about the Plan of Chicago — the conditions that prompted it, the major recommendations, its implementation and its legacy in this highly illustrated booklet available for download or on-line viewing [MORE]

Saturday, November 14, 2009 11:00am to 4:30pm

Think Big Youth Expo

Chicago Humanities Festival

One hundred years ago, Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett issued the Plan of Chicago to give people great ideas about how to make the city and region a better place. [MORE]

Sunday, November 2, 2008 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Thinking Big: The Global City of the Future

Chicago Humanities Festival

How are cities around the world facing the challenges of the 21st century? Are the lessons of Burnham and Chicago relevant to shaping a more liveable and more fulfilling metropolis? This second program about the Burnham Plan and its legacy will tackle challenges facing Chicago and other global cities in the coming century. [MORE]

Sunday, November 2, 2008 noon to 1:30am

Thinking Big: The Plan Of Chicago: 100 Years of City-Building

Chicago Humanities Festival

Why is Chicago known as the city that gave birth to modern urban planning? What were the forces that came together in 1909 to produce Burnham and Bennett’s Plan of Chicago? Where are the imprints of this visionary plan on our regional landscape and how does it continue to inspire us 100 years later? [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]

Saturday, October 10, 2009 9:30am to 12:30pm
Saturday, October 10, 2009 1:30pm to 4:30pm

Community Showcase Tours

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

As part of One Book One Chicago programming, explore the unique stories and bold plans of six diverse Chicago neighborhoods as told through the voices of community leaders and residents.

The tours will depart from and return to the Chicago Cultural Center and include:

MORNING TOURS:  9:30 am - 12:30 pm (choose one) [MORE]

Saturday, May 16, 2009 9:00am to 4:00pm

Great Chicago Places and Spaces Festival

City of Chicago

Chicago opens its doors during 11th annual Great Chicago Places and Spaces (GCPS) on May 16, 2009. For one day, the City of Chicago collaborates with architects, designers and community leaders on more than 100 free tours. The event, a program of the Mayor's Office of Special Events, was created to reflect Chicago's great architectural heritage as well as showcase "off limits" places and spaces. [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]

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Announcement of Pavilion Designs

Burnham Pavilions

Join Alderman Brendan Reilly, The Burnham Plan Centennial Committee, The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Art Institute of Chicago and Friends of Downtown to learn about the temporary Burnham Pavilions in Millennium Park.


Bold Plans Big Dreams Demonstration Schools

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Recognizing an exceptional commitment to make “Chicago progress” central to the Chicago Public Schools’ literacy, social sciences, and social emotional learning curriculum, 32 Chicago Public Schools were competitively selected to participate in a year-long Bold Plans. Big Dreams. Demonstration Schools program that will benefit their students and schools, and serve as models for others throughout the city and region.

Demonstration School Benefits [MORE]

Saturday, November 14, 2009 noon to 1:30pm

Bold Plans for the Next 100 Years

Chicago Humanities Festival

A panel of visionary designers and thinkers—including: architect and planner Doug FarrCheryle Jackson, president of the Chicago Urban League; and John Tolva, IBM, Director, Citizenship & Technology—provide an exciting look into an imaginative future. Adele Simmons, vice chair of Chicago Metropolis 2020, moderates. Bold Plans for the Next 100 Years is part of the 2009 Chicago Humanities Festival. Two other Burnham Centennial-themed programs on November 14 are: [MORE]

Thursday, July 16, 2009 9:00am to 5:00pm

Burnham 100 x 100 Visioning Charrette

American Society of Landscape Architects - Illinois Chapter

The Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee invite you to celebrate the 2009 Centennial of Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago, joining Chicago and the Midwest Region’s leading Landscape Architects at the Burnham 100 x 100 Visioning Charrette, to be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, Thursday, July 16th, 2009. [MORE]

Thursday, January 21, 2010 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Burnham Goes To 2040

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

Please join us at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) as we build on the momentum of the 2009 Burnham Plan Centennial to launch bold new plans for the region's future.
At this very special kick-off, you'll be the first to receive a copy of the CMAP's preferred Regional Scenario, the last major policy publication before the draft GO TO 2040 comprehensive seven-county plan itself is issued in June 2010. The preferred Regional Scenario will describe the policies upon which the detailed plan will be based. [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]

Friday, June 19, 2009 noon to Sunday, June 21, 2009 noon

Burnham Pavilions Grand Opening Weekend

Burnham Pavilions

The official opening of the Burnham Pavilions in Millennium Park takes place Friday, June 19 at noon on the South Chase Promenade. [MORE]

Burnham Plan History Fair Awards

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Every year 2,000 middle and high school teachers and students participate in the Chicago Metro History Fair which promotes primary course research and historical inquiry into Metropolitan Chicago. In order to encourage students to explore the rich legacy and impact of the Plan of Chicago, the Centennial Committee created a cash award program to recognize high school projects related to the Plan.

Thursday, November 5, 2009 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Friday, November 6, 2009 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Chicago Nature & Wildlife Research Summit

Mayor Daley's Nature and Wildlife Committee

Mayor Daley’s Nature & Wildlife Advisory Committee is convening a Research Summit to identify priority research needs, connect researchers to land managers and policy makers, and imagine what a biodiversity research network would look like in the City of Chicago. The Research Summit, which is by invitation only, will be complimented by two early evening programs that expand the discussion to a broader public. [MORE]

Chicago: Choices and Changes

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The 3rd grade unit, piloted in the spring of 2008, includes five lessons that introduce students to community-building principles: people make choices, people make changes that affect how people live and work now and in the future; each person’s choice can make a difference. [MORE]

Chicago: City of Possibilities, Plans, Progress

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Chicago: City of Possibilities, Plans, Progress provides materials that offer a starting point to making the city itself part of your curriculum. As your students explore their city we hope that they will understand their own ability to change their communities and make a different in shaping Chicago's future. [MORE]

Educators Resource Guide - The Burnham Plan Centennial: Bold Plans. Big Dreams

The Bold Plans Big Dreams Educators Resource Guide is a collection of resources that facilitates incorporating the study of metropolitan Chicago into daily teaching. The guide includes clickable links to and PDFs of lessons, activities and multiple educational resources as well as images presented in PowerPoint format and as digital files.

Burnham’s Plan of Chicago provides many points of entry for studying a variety of topics across a variety of academic disciplines. The major themes covered by the study of Burnham’s Plan include: [MORE]

Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:00pm

From City Beautiful to City Green: Chicago and the Evolution of its Regional Environment

Chicago Public Library

In 1909 in the Plan of Chicago, Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett responded to large problems in the city and its region—problems that included the lack of public open and green spaces, and an ill-coordinated relationship of the city to its region.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Global Warming: What's a Kid to Do?

Joliet Public Library

In the spirit of Daniel Burnham's forward-looking Plan of Chicago, Kidworks Touring Theatre Co. presents a “hands-on” exploration of climate changes around the world, told from the perspective of endangered animals and plants.

Letters to the Mayor

Culminating a learning experience based upon the new Chicago: Choices and Changes unit, more than 2,200 third-graders from 78 schools wrote letters to and sent Mayor Daley their dreams and plans for the city. [MORE]

Thursday, November 5, 2009 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Our Green Metropolis: The Next 100 Years

The greatest legacy of the 1909 Plan was the regional green infrastructure it created. At this reception and special program, partners from around the region will announce the next steps for key Green Legacy projects and how the region can become a green metropolis.

Friday, March 27, 2009 8:30am to 2:30pm

Professional Development Workshop for CPS Teachers

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

The Burnham Plan Centennial in collaboration with the DePaul Center for Urban Education and the Chicago Public Schools Office of Literacy, Instruction and Assessment invites third- and eighth-grade and special education teachers to participate in a special day-long workshop that will help teachers to make the city itself a vital part of the curriculum. [MORE]

Burnham Plan Centennial Committee

Website: http://www.burnhamplan100.or...

c/o Chicago Metropolis 2020
30 W. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
[Get Directions]

The Burnham Plan Centennial
© Copyright 2009

c/o Chicago Metropolis 2020
30 West Monroe Street, 18th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60603 • (312)332-2020

Site developed and hosted by
The University of Chicago Library