As a Chicago newbie, it's tough to imagine this city without Millennium park. But less than 20 years ago that area of Chicago's loop was occupied solely by the Illinois Central Railroad. In March of 1998 plans were unveiled for an eye-catching civic improvement - they were calling Lakefront Millennium Park.
As might be expected with a multi-million dollar project, there were a few hiccups before its completion.
Did you know... Millennium park came in a bit over budget and bit behind schedule.
When Mayor Richard M. Daley unveiled the plan for the park in 1998, it had a price tag of $150 million and was scheduled for completion by the summer of 2000.
The Pritzker pavilion had its official opening July 16, 2004. So that's, what, just four years behind schedule? And the really good news is that the park ended up with a final price tag of $475 million. (?!?!?!) Thankfully, private donors picked up $205 million of the tab. That left the city responsible for only $270 million when all was said and done.
Is it selfish and naive to say I think the project was worth every penny?