The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Program Partners


The City of Chicago, Mayor's Office, Mayor's Office of Special Events, Department of Aviation, Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of the Environment, Department of Transportation and Department of Planning and Development will commemorate the Centennial of the Burnham Plan of Chicago with a broad array of Centennial programs, tours, planning initiatives and legacy projects.

Partner Category: Public Agency

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]

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]

Daniel H. Burnham: The Man, The Plan, The Legacy

City of Chicago

This map/brochure, produced for the Centennial by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, includes improvements proposed in the Plan of Chicago, buildings designed by Burnham and successor firms, select buildings that reflect the principles of the Burnham Plan as well as civic and transportation improvements and lakefront parks that are representative of the City Beautiful Movement. [MORE]

Exhibit : Friday, September 4, 2009 to Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daniel Burnham's Enduring Vision for the Philippines

City of Chicago

Architectural and landscape photographer Tim Long shot photographs that document the buildings and streets -- built according to a Burnham Plan -- that still stand and still play an important role in the landscape of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Sunday, December 6, 2009 8:00am to Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:50pm

Vehicle Sticker Art Design Contest

City of Chicago

All Chicago high school students grades 9-12 were invited to submit artwork for the 15th annual City Sticker Art Contest. The 2010-2011 theme is “Burnham’s Chicago, and more than 300 area students created designs highlighting Daniel Burnham’s contributions to our city. A panel of volunteer judges—including artists and civic leaders—determined the top 10 designs, which are up to a public vote.” [MORE]

Monday, June 22, 2009 10:00am to Sunday, June 28, 2009 3:00pm

Burnham Week: Building the City

City of Chicago

As part of the Summer 2009 Family Fun Festival, join the Chicago Architecture Foundation in the Millennium Park Family Tent for Burnham Week: Building the City. This is an opportunity to celebrate Chicago's past, present and future with hands-on building and architectural activities in honor of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's great Plan of Chicago. Activities will take place daily from 10 a.m.until 3:00 pm. [MORE]

Saturday, June 13, 2009 10:00am to 2:30pm
Saturday, July 11, 2009 10:00am to 2:30pm
Saturday, August 8, 2009 10:00am to 2:30pm
Saturday, September 12, 2009 10:00am to 2:30pm

Make Big Plans: Burnham Centennial- Chicago Neighborhood Tours

City of Chicago

Happy 100th, 1909 Plan of Chicago! Through a formal presentation at the Chicago Cultural Center, and Harold Washington Library's special exhibit, you'll grasp the genius that shaped city planning and Chicago history. Review Burnham and Bennett's pioneering ideas for local thoroughfares and railroad traffic. A rendezvous at Burnham's graveside makes a fitting epilogue. 

Tour highlights: [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, 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]

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.


Bloomingdale Trail

Trust for Public Land

The Bloomingdale Trail is one of only a handful of innovative projects in the world that creates new open space in a dense urban neighborhood on abandoned elevated rail lines. Only the second project of its type in the nation and the first in Chicago, the trail runs from the Chicago River to Ridgeway Avenue. Design and engineering are underway on this 2.8-mile linear park located on an above-grade right-of-way on Chicago’s northwest side. [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]

Calumet Open Space Reserve

City of Chicago

Chicago’s Calumet Open Space Reserve Plan is a blueprint for habitat restoration, recreation and trail connections on Chicago’s southeast side, covering 4,800 acres of one of the largest and most diverse natural wetland complexes in the Midwest. It intends to reverse decades of disinvestment and pollution in an urban location where high quality natural areas contrast with the “edgy” landscape of the region’s industrial past.

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 Riverfront Trail

City of Chicago

On June 19, 2009 the City of Chicago opened the first section of the Chicago Riverwalk—between Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue and under the Michigan Avenue bridge. By retrofitting the riverfront to give pedestrians direct river access and green space in the heart of downtown, Chicago’s Green Legacy Project is advancing the next generation of public shoreline—the river’s edge—to provide health and recreation as well as aesthetic and economic development benefits.

Cultural Center Lecture Series

City of Chicago

The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs will work with our regular lecture partners at the Cultural Center (Friends of Downtown, Landmarks Illinois, Friends of the Parks and Chicagoland Bicycle Federation) to focus as many monthly topics as possible on aspects of the Plan of Chicago, the legacy of the Plan or succeeding plans for the City.

Lead Department: The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs [MORE]

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Pecha Kucha Night

City of Chicago

Conceived in 2003 as a place for young designers to meet, network and show their work in public, Pecha Kucha Night is a patented presentation format during which each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This special Burnham Edition is emceed by: [MORE]

Friday, November 6, 2009 4:00pm to 6:00pm

The Mannahatta Project: Manhattan Island Year 1609

City of Chicago

Have you ever wondered what New York was like before it was a city? In his keynote address to the Chicago Nature & Wildlife Research Summit, Dr. Eric W. Sanderson—Senior Conservation Ecologist, Wildlife Conservation Society—presents his work on the Mannahatta Project, an effort to reconstruct the landscape of Manhattan Island in 1609. [MORE]

City of Chicago


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