The Bean

The Bean

Here is the story of how a visit to a dentist had changed Chicago forever.

The local legend says that Mayor Richard M. Daley (Daley da Second) was at the dentist office in a building on Michigan Avenue overlooking what’s now Millennium Park. Back in the 1990s it was an ugly place: commuter railroad tracks and dusty car parking lots. A prime spot in the heart of Chicago was a wasteland.

It is not clear what kind of mind altering anesthetic shot was given to the mayor but right there looking out of the window in the dentist’s office he made a decision to build the world’s largest green roof over the tracks to host the park full of monumental artworks.

One of them became The Bean (aka Cloud Gate), a huge stainless steel mirror-polished sculpture with a distorted reflection of the city skyline.

I was lucky to witness the construction of The Bean: from erecting the internal support structure to polishing the seams on the outer surface later on. Maybe I’ll post some images from that time later.

Interesting fact: famous sculptor Anish Kapoor who designed The Bean stated in his contract with the city of Chicago that the structure will stand for a thousand years. I wonder what Chicago will look like in the next millennium? Will The Bean still be there?

Who would have thought that a simple visit to the dentist could lead to such consequences?