Why is “The Bean” so Significant?

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Why is “The Bean” so Significant?

Madi Lowe, Editor

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If you have ever been to Chicago, you have probably been to The Bean. The Bean is located in Millennium Park in Chicago and was designed by the European, Anish Kapoor.

Now have you ever thought of why The Bean was created or why it is so significant to Chicago? As I have came back from Chicago recently, I didn’t even know the answers to those questions myself, and when I tell people about The Bean, they ask, “Why was The Bean created?”

In 2004, The Bean was created from 168 highly polished stainless steel plates and has a liquid mercury look to it, and when looking at it just right, there is perfect shine from the sun. The buildings surrounding the bean reflect and outline of the city and hustle and bustle of the people.

The Bean was first thought of in 1999 for a showcase and then started production in 2004, and was finished in 2006. The Bean’s official name is “Cloud Gate” because 80% of it reflects the sky and bends to make a gate shape. The Bean was created to simply reflect the downtown city, Millennium Park and aimed to get a curved look to make the scenery even better.

To keep The Bean in prime state, it is cleaned once a day and once a night.  This helps the reflection stay clear and take off any fingerprints that are left behind.

There are many interesting facts about this sculpture, including that the artist, Anish Kapoor. He was inspired by liquid mercury to make The Bean’s color. The Bean was also built with the skyline in mind and was modeled with a computer.

Originally, Kapoor wanted to make the structure and ship it from the Panama Canal, St. Lawrence Seaway, then finally Lake Michigan. But that shipping was denied, and was shipped by plates 7 feet wide, 11 feet long, and 1500 pounds to Millennium Park to be built.

In Karamay, China, there is a copycat sculpture that has the same shiny look and resembles an oil bubble. The Bean is one of the most popular places in Chicago for tourists and photographers, so if you ever get the chance to go to Chicago, visit The Bean.


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