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Artist's rendition of Burnham Memorial Park

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood….make big plans, aim high in hope and work." Daniel Burnham

Memorial Vision

Objective: To build a lasting and notable memorial that will inspire and educate the public, and honor the memory and importance of Daniel Burnham and his Plan of Chicago

Daniel Burnham is widely recognized as one of Chicago's great architects and the father of Urban Planning. As the architect of the 1893 World's Fair, which painted the city in grandeur for the entire world to see, he set out to make Chicago a world-class city—a "Paris on the Prairie." Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago is considered the United States' first comprehensive planning document to control the growth of an American City. It established the vision for the development of the lakefront park system and Grant Park, the formalization of the downtown business/civic district, major investments in new streets and boulevards, and the establishment of a regional forest preserve system. Subsequent to the Plan of Chicago, Daniel Burnham went on to prepare plans for major cities including Cleveland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as plans for the cities of Manila and Baguio in the Philippines.

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Community Support

The Burnham Memorial Committee has received letters of support for the proposed Burnham Memorial form several local community and civic organizations, including: Near South Planning Board, Alderman Robert Fioretti—2nd Ward, The Cliff Dwellers, Chicago Loop Alliance, Lambda Alpha International—Ely Chapter, AIA Chicago, John G. Shedd Aquarium, and the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee.


The Site is located in front of the Field Museum in Grant Park


The design competition shall conclude with the Centennial Celebration in July 2009. The memorial is scheduled to be completed in late 2010.

Design Competition and Exhibit

The Committee proposes to build a lasting memorial, developed from designs obtained through an international competition that will inspire, educate and honor the memory and importance of Daniel Burnham and his Plan of Chicago. The competition will be conducted in accord with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national design competition guidelines.

Campaign and Contributors

The memorial and design competition are funded through private donations.

Image Gallery

Site Images
Phase I entries
Phase II entries

Unsolicited entries


For information, contact Zurich Esposito at (312) 670-7770 or email