What is the Bean in Chicago?

The Bean in Chicago

Few sculptures can captivate thousands of people at once, and fewer still attract visitors of all ages to surprise and inspire. New visitors to Chicago may have heard reference to the cultural and physical behemoth that is The Bean, but few may know the answer to “What is The Bean in Chicago?” 

The 100-ton sculpture that is Cloud Gate, a Chicago hallmark, is perhaps better known as The Bean for its remarkable shape. However, its original name is perhaps more explicit, as its seamless aluminum body reflects and distorts the skyline and lake in unimaginable ways. It also marks Millenium Park as a must-see destination for almost all Chicago visitors after they take a lunch in the clouds


What Does The Bean in Chicago Mean?

What does The Bean in Chicago mean? Formally known as Cloud Gate, Chicago’s Bean is a mercury-inspired structural wonder of engineering, resulting from the artistic vision of Anish Kapoor in collaboration with a design and construction firm. 

Because of its breath-taking all-aluminum body, Cloud Gate reflects a multitude of angles all at once, whether you find yourself in the astounding glamor beneath its 33-foot tall frame, or you gaze into the Chicago skyline reflected and distorted along its 66-foot span


Themes of Cloud Gate, Chicago’s Reflection

At the right time of day and angle, Cloud Gate becomes indistinguishable from the sky. This warping of space and expectation is just part of the wonder that is The Bean. Kapoor’s work consistently works with limits and limitlessness, among many other topics of duality. Cloud Gate continues this public work as people find themselves alongside, seemingly, all of Chicago, all of the Lake, and all of its impressive architectural feats represented in the reflection of The Bean. Many viewers also question the sheer possibility of its construction, its seamlessness, and its ability to look featherlight when compared to its massive actual tonnage.


Where is The Bean in Chicago?

Where is The Bean in Chicago? The Bean’s Chicago address is technically located in Millenium Park on the AT&T Plaza, which places it exactly halfway between Washington St. and Madison St. It’s located just south of the Millenium Station Metra stop, and due east of the Washington and Wabash L stop. If you’re in the neighborhood, you won’t want to miss this iconic Chicago attraction!


Experience Chicago From the Clouds With Skydeck

Once you’ve experienced the unique sights as seen from the ground, climb up Willis Tower to take in the city at 1,353 feet. Then, take your travelers to see up-close and personal the best attractions Chicago has to offer, courtesy of our local Skydeck guides.

Important Notice Regarding COVID-19

Willis Tower and Skydeck Chicago have implemented measures consistent with CDC and local and federal guidance to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the premises, including enhanced cleaning protocols. Even with these procedures in place, PLEASE BE ADVISED that building occupants, building and Skydeck visitors, or others currently or previously present upon this property and/or the Skydeck MAY HAVE CONTRACTED OR BEEN EXPOSED TO COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, and may expose you. By accessing and using building common areas, the Skydeck, and their associated amenities, you and your party voluntarily assume all risks of your use—INCLUDING THE RISK OF EXPOSURE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE—and you waive all claims, including claims for negligence, against Willis Tower, Skydeck Chicago, and their respective owners, managers, affiliates, agents and representatives, arising out of such use. The above parties hereby disclaim all liability for any injuries arising out of your use of this property and the Skydeck, including exposure to infectious disease.

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