Chicago’s iconic Bean sculpture to fully reopen to visitors: city

Chicago’s iconic mirrored Bean sculpture is expected to fully reopen to visitors by the end of June after almost a year of limited access, city officials revealed Thursday.

Grainger Plaza, the area of Millennium Park that surrounds the sculpture formally known as Cloud Gate, has been under construction since August. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said upgrades to the plaza include new steps, ramps, paver replacements, waterproofing and other accessibility changes.

The department expects to reopen the area before the end of the month, weather permitting, according to a statement from DCASE.

The 110-ton reflective artwork, designed by artist Anish Kapoor in 2004, brings about 20 million visitors to Millennium Park annually, according to DCASE.

Nearly 20 years after the Cloud Gate came to Chicago, Kapoor created a smaller Bean-like artwork wedged underneath a luxury apartment building in New York City. The “wannabean” prompted former Choose Chicago President and CEO Lynn Osmond to remark that “there are a lot of wannabes, but nothing will beat Chicago’s.”

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