Ft Dearborn on the Chicago River
Ft. Dearborn on the Chicago River 

Daniel Burnham, the visionary architect who designed the plan for the World Columbian Exposition and who is most known for his mastery of Chicago urban planning would have been 162 years old this year. It has been 100 years since Daniel Burnham and his associates designed the grand plan forChicago.

The plan comprised of six physical elements: improving the freight and passenger railway systems, developing a highway system, improving the lakefront, arranging systematic streets, creating an outer park system and a civic cultural institution. Regional forest preserves, lakefront parks, Michigan Avenue, and Wacker Drive can all be attributed to the visionary plans of Daniel Burnham. Events have been taking place throughout the city this summer to celebrate the centennial of the Burnham Plan. DePaul University has been offering courses, tours, and symposiums to celebrate the centennial. The Art Institute has an exhibit, “Good Order and Consequent Beauty: Planning the Future of Chicago” featuring artifacts of the plan, the exhibit is open from now until September 28, 2009.

I think we all can learn from Burnham and the plan by simply remembering his admonition “make no, little plans.” For more information on Burnham Centennial events, check out http://burnhamplan100.uchicago.edu/.