Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Burnham Ponders the Lakefront
Return to "Antecedents and Inspirations"

These two drawings, one from 1896 and the other dated eight years later, are reproduced in the opening chapter of the Plan of Chicago . They show the development of Daniel Burnham's thinking about the lakefront in the years following the World's Columbian Exposition. Both propose a landscaped lakeshore parkway and lagoon connecting a post-fair Jackson Park to a formally landscaped Grant Park (called Lake Park until 1901). By 1904 both the parkway and the lagoon have become considerably more elaborate. The design for Grant Park has also changed, though the Field Columbian Museum holds a starring role in both plans. While the second plan more closely anticipates the Plan of Chicago , only the 1896 design centers the museum on an extended Congress Street, as the Plan does.

Original Plan, 1896


Modified Plan, 1904