Planning for Millennium Park, the brainchild of Mayor Richard M. Daley, originally started in 1997 with the goal to have the park ready to celebrate the new millennium in the year 2000. Notorious delays and cost overruns made for a lot of local newspaper column fodder, and the park did not have its grand opening until the summer of 2004 with a price tag topping $500 million.
However, the end result of this ambitious project is so spectacular that most have forgotten the missteps it took to get it completed. Millennium Park is now one of the highlights of the city, and rivals the Lincoln Park Zoo as Chicago's best free attraction.
Millennium Park is located on the east side of downtown, bordered on the west by Michigan Avenue, on the east by Columbus Drive, on the north by Randolph Street, and on the south by Monroe Street. Primary Chicago public transportation to the park is either the Michigan Avenue CTA bus #151, or the Red Line subway train, Randolph stop.
Admission to Millennium Park is free, and is open daily from 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.