Shining Chicago Views

The reflective surface of Cloud Gate dishes out amazing perspectives.

Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York, the Statue of Liberty. In Chicago, it’s Cloud Gate, a 110-ton sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor, named for the clouds that reflect on the surface. Locals call it “The Bean” for its elliptical shape.


The public art installation, meant to be unveiled during the grand opening of Millennium Park ten years ago, had what one might call a giant hitch. Given its size — 66 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 33 feet high — it took an additional two years to fabricate the 168 stainless steel plates.

chicago_cloud-gate-night_Andriy Kravchenko

There may be more famous Chicago landmarks, but this one is so well loved that it requires two yearly scrub-downs to remove admirers’ fingerprint smudges. Visitors like to touch it and photograph the mirrored skyline, getting creative with poses and props. It seems Kapoor achieved his vision of a sculpture people could interact with.


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