ASLA 2016 Landmark Award Winner / Giải thưởng ASLA 2016 Landmark Award

Since 1993, a bold strip of beautiful landscape has run down the median of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. It spans the 33 blocks (2.3 miles) from Roosevelt Road in Chicago’s Loop up to Oak Street in the city’s Gold Coast, enlivening the prominent street with seasonal plant displays of enormous scale, color, complexity, and texture. The project originated in 1991 as an initiative introduced by Mayor Richard M. Daley and a committee of prominent Chicago business and civic leaders to beautify one of the city’s most prime pieces of real estate and transform it into a stunning public space.

Three different displays are carefully planned and installed annually so as to remain seasonally appropriate. The original design team produced more than 60 different schemes over the project’s first 20 years; today, a new landscape firm carries on the work. Due to the project’s success, Chicago has since landscaped more than 100 miles of median space. Many other cities have followed suit, making the Magnificent Mile median an international model for civic urban landscape design.