An overnight business trip to Chicago provided a brief opportunity for some sightseeing, and a stop at what many Chicagoans simply refer to as “the bean.” It’s actual name is Cloud Gate, an uncommonly interesting focal point of downtown’s Millennium Park. Designed by British artist Anish Kapoor, the sculpture is composed of 168 stainless steel plates that have been seamlessly welded together and highly polished. Nearly as interesting as the art itself is watching visitors admiring their reflected selves and the city skyline.
Visitors can pass beneath the sculpture to view its omphalos, essentially the artwork’s navel and structural keystone which offers dizzying reflections of all who pass beneath it.
Construction began in February 2004 and it was officially unveiled in May 2006. According to Wikipedia the total cost for the the bean at its completion was $26 million.