The Burnham Plan

Because of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago in 1909, the beaches and parks of the lakefront have been Chicago’s front yard for more than a century.  It took the national tragedy of the Great Depression to secure the federal funding that made it possible to partially implement Burnham’s plans for the north and south lakefronts.  Without those massive construction projects during the 1930s, large portions of the lakefront would be in private hands.  Today, these park lands are most Chicagoan’s only link to the city’s maritime character.