The BP Pedestrian Bridge is a girder footbridge in the Loop community
area of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It spans Columbus Drive to
connect Daley Bicentennial Plaza with Millennium Park, both parts of
the larger Grant Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect
Frank Gehry, it opened along with the rest of Millennium Park on July
16, 2004. Gehry had been courted by the city to design the bridge and
the neighboring Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and eventually agreed to do so
after the Pritzker family funded the Pavilion. Named for energy firm
BP, which donated $5 million toward its construction, it is the first
Gehry-designed bridge to have been completed. BP Bridge is described as
snakelike because of its curving form. Designed to bear a heavy load
without structural problems caused by its own weight, it has won awards
for its use of sheet metal. The bridge is known for its aesthetics, and
Gehry's style is seen in its biomorphic allusions and extensive
sculptural use of stainless steel plates to express abstraction. The
pedestrian bridge serves as a noise barrier for traffic sounds from
Columbus Drive. It is a connecting link between Millennium Park and
destinations to the east, such as the nearby lakefront, other parts of
Grant Park and a parking garage. It is designed without handrails,
using stainless steel parapets instead. The total length is 935 feet
(285 m), with a five percent slope on its inclined surfaces that makes
it barrier free and accessible to all. Although the bridge closes in
winter because ice cannot be safely removed from its wooden walkway, it
has received favorable reviews for its design and aesthetics.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
War of the Fifth Coalition: Austrian forces under Archduke Charles
prevented Napoleon I and his French troops from crossing the Danube
near Vienna at the Battle of Aspern-Essling.
HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage from Plymouth for a
hydrographic survey of the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego regions of
The Great Chilean Earthquake, measuring 9.5 Mw, devastated Valdivia,
Chile, and generated destructive tsunamis that reached Hawaii the
During a speech at the University of Michigan, U.S. President Lyndon B.
Johnson presented the goals of his Great Society domestic social
reforms to eliminate poverty and racial injustice.
Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka, adopted a new constitution, and
officially became a republic.
Pac-Man, an arcade game that became virtually synonymous with video
games and an icon of 1980s popular culture, made its debut in Japan.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
The sounding of a bugle or drum early in the morning to awaken soldiers
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could
invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere
commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in
hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in
at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the
plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working
through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would
make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions
most stale and unprofitable.
--Arthur Conan Doyle