What is “The Bean?”

Things to Do — By Emma on September 28, 2011 at 1:47 am

The meaning of The Bean had long eluded me.  It came to my knowledge “The Bean” was in fact just a nickname years after it’s conception. Like many Chicagoans, I was content and accepted this title.

Bean with Buildings

Photo courtesy of author.

The Bean is one of Chicago’s biggest attractions. Sitting next to Millennium Park’s ice rink and outdoor amphitheater, it’s hard to miss. Visitors and locals love it; they bring friends, family, dates, and it never gets old. The sculpture is constructed of highly polished stainless steel plates that reflect land, water and sky. It stands 66 feet long, 33 feet high and 42 feet wide.

British Artist Anish Kapoor has a policy of naming his work following it’s completion. After five years of welding, grounding and polishing he deemed his creation “Cloud Gate.” Kapoor’s genius design was chosen to magnify the skyline of Chicago while the sky and lake are the gateway.

Walking under Cloud Gate is like entering a fun-house. See a cascade of your embellished reflections. Cloud Gate is located on the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park. Official hours: Daily, 6am – 11pm– but as its a plaza and free public area, these hours are more like guidelines.

See the sculpture at 201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave and Columbus Ave, Chicago 60602.


Cloud Gate

Chicago Tribune

Tags: Art, Millennium Park, The Bean, Things to Do