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Loop Art Tour

29 bytes removed, 17:56, 27 February 2012
Prepare
==Prepare==
You won't need to bring much else besides this guide. If you are planning on doing the full itinerary, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. In total it's a 2.7 mile mi-walk(4.3 km), and that doesn't include time spent indoors. Inclement weather will make the walk less enjoyable, but only a real storm or the most frigid weather would really stop you from making the journey. Check the weather before you head out and bring rain/snow gear as appropriate. Don't forget your camera and consider bringing along the {{web|Wikitravel}} map of [[Chicago/Loop|the Loop]], in case you want to stop in a cafe or finish with a beer.
One of the best things about public art is that you get to enjoy it without paying any money. The only costs you'll encounter are from the many temptations along the way. If you want to visit the Art Institute at the beginning, that will be $12 18 for adults and $7 12 for children/seniors; the Sears Tower Skydeck at the end will set you back $12.95/adult, $9.50/child. Set out in the morning or the afternoon, just so long as you'll finish the trip before dinner time, when many of the buildings close, denying you access to any indoor sculptures.
==Art Institute==
Across Monroe Street, Millennium Park's '''Crown Fountain''' (Jaume Plensa) comes into view, and makes an impression! These two mini-skyscrapers project faces of Chicagoans, who occasionally spew water through their "mouths" into the large black granite fountain between them. If you've brought kids along, now is a good time to collect their shoes and let them splash around a bit.
Continuing northwards, you'll see the hard-to-miss '''[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Gate Cloud Gate]''' (Anish Kapoor). Better known as ''the Bean'', it's a kidney-shaped structure of smooth stainless steel weighing 110 tons. It's the favorite sculpture of Millennium Park's throngs of visitors, as it reflects the surrounding skyscrapers (and tourists) like a funhouse mirror. That and it is rather graceful, isn't it?
After taking either artistic or goofy photos with the Bean, head east through the park, around the edge of the huge '''Pritzker Pavilion''' (Frank Gehry). Its giant steel trellis performs an important function besides aesthetic appeal; it supports much of the stage's sound and lighting systems. At the eastern edge of the pavilion (and of Millennium Park), take the long, winding '''BP Bridge''' over Columbus Drive and be sure to stop along the way to enjoy the views of the skyline and Lake Michigan.
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