A monumental civic space fronting Lake Michigan, 319-acre Grant Park is sited on public parkland founded in 1835 and infill created from the detritus of the 1871 Great Fire. Known from 1847 as Lake Park, it was renamed in honor of Ulysses S. Grant in 1901. The park’s formal, parterre landscape was designed by Edward H. Bennett around the same time.
Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago visualized Grant Park as a French Renaissance landscape featuring civic institutions, a vision hampered by longstanding regulations that protect the park as open space. This situation was resolved when the southern part of the park expanded through numerous infill projects, most notably under Alfred Caldwell utilizing Works Progress Administration funds in the 1930s. Today Grant Park is home to the Field Museum of Natural History, Art Institute of Chicago, and Shedd Aquarium, with Adler Planetarium nearby in Burnham Park. The space between these civic structures, known as Museum Campus, was transformed from pavement to lawn with paths and trees in 1995. Millennium Park opened in 2004, replacing old rail lines and parking further north. The park also features the Logan Memorial, built in 1897, and the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, given by Kate Buckingham in honor of her brother and designed by Bennett, Parsons and Frost in 1927. Grant Park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.