Chicago Mayor Daley Welcomes 73rd Annual Conference of Mayors Meeting to Chicago
By Nicole Maharaj
July 12, 2004
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will host the 73rd Annual Conference of Mayors Meeting in Chicago June 10-14, 2005. Daley will be hosting his second Annual Meeting in Chicago since serving as mayor of the city. The Conference of Mayors also convened its Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1990.
"A year from now, it will be my pleasure to welcome you to Chicago for the 73rd Annual Conference of Mayors Meeting," said Daley. According to Daley, Chicago is a top destination city for both business and leisure travelers.
Daley proudly spoke to the Conference about one of his major downtown projects Millennium Park. The grand opening for Millennium Park is only weeks away. It is considered to be one of the most ambitious undertakings in Chicago's history replacing the Hancock Center, the Sears Tower and the Picasso sculpture. Moreover, it offers some of the best examples in the use of public spaces, the value of the performing and visual arts to the city, and the importance of innovative collaboration between the business and philanthropic community. In addition, the park is already attracting new residential and commercial development along its edges, and inspiring the owners of buildings along Michigan Avenue to make improvements. Inspiring sites within Millennium Park will include:
Grant Park the scene of all summer festivals, containing gardens, playing fields and the well-known Buckingham Fountain
North Grant Park a former 16 acre eyesore of railroad tracks transformed into a park area with a theater building for indoor performances; a reflecting pool; landscaped walkways, and an outdoor music pavilion to be designed by internationally renown architect Frank Gehry. The park will serve as dramatic showplace for art, music, architecture, landscape design and outdoor activities.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion will serve as the permanent home of the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, seating 4,000 people and room for 7,000 more in the lawn area with outstanding acoustics.
BP Bridge the only bridge in the world designed by Frank Gehry linking the park to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza and the lakefront.
Anish Kapoor Sculpture one of the world's largest outdoor sculptures by British artist Anish Kapoor with a mirror-like surface which reflects images as well as Chicago's skyline.
Plensa Fountain a very unusual fountain with two glass towers separated by a black granite surface covered by a water skin one-eighth inch deep, designed by the Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa. Water flows over four faces of each tower, which are lighted including projected images of nature, as well as the faces of more than 1,000 Chicagoans.
Peristyle contains the names of the park donors and provides a link with the past and great place for downtown office workers to come and relax.
Harris Theater for Music and Dance fills a pressing need for a modern mid'sized theater for locally based performing arts groups.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink provides a setting for public skating with beautiful views of the Chicago skyline.
"We believe the park will attract two to three million visitors annually, with an estimated economic impact of $100 million to $150 million. However, Millennium Park is about more than money. It's about creating a wonderful public space that will improve the quality of life of every Chicagoan and build pride in our city. And, it's also a tribute to the generosity and vision of Chicago's business and philanthropic community. I believe Millennium Park reflects the beauty and vitality of my city reflects it quite literally through the Kapoor sculpture and the Plensa fountain. We're very proud of our new park, and I look forward to giving you a personal tour when you come to Chicago next June for our 73rd Annual Conference," said Daley.