Interesting Facts About Chicago’s Cloud Gate (Chicago Bean)

Cloud Gate is a public sculpture located in the heart of Chicago at the AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park. It is more commonly known as “The Bean,” due to its bean-like shape. It is just minutes away from the Chicago office of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., so we have learned tons of interesting tidbits about one of the city’s most iconic symbols.

Here are some fun facts about Chicago’s Cloud Gate.

Cloud Gate Was Designed as Part of an Art Competition 

When Millennium Park was being constructed, the park asked for designs from artists in 1999 for a new art exhibit. Park officials selected the proposal from Sir Anish Kapoor, an Indian-born British artist. It was the artist’s first public outdoor work in the United States. 

The Design Was Inspired by the Chicago Skyline…and Mercury 

Kapoor was inspired by liquid mercury when designing Chicago’s Cloud Gate. He was also inspired by the Chicago skyline and wanted visitors to see clouds floating in and the very tall buildings symbolic of Chicago. Three-quarters of the sculpture’s surface reflects the sky, which helped to give the sculpture its formal name since it serves as a type of gate between the sky and the viewer. 

It’s Huge

The work measures 66 feet long and 33 feet high. It weighs 110 tons. The sculpture is comprised of 168 pieces of stainless steel plates that were put together like a jigsaw puzzle and welded shut. It is expected to withstand the elements for another millennium. 

Chicago's Cloud Gate (Chicago Bean)

There’s Wood Inside 

While the exterior of Cloud Gate is made up entirely of stainless steel, the inside is actually constructed with wood. The wooden framework helps to support the steel. There are no visible seams to the exterior of the sculpture. The external surface was later polished to provide a nice finish to the piece. 

They Went Way Over Budget 

The original project was estimated to cost $6 million. By the time the work was completed, it cost $23 million. All funding came from private donations.

Kanye West Made That Bean Famous 

Cloud Gate has had many famous appearances, including in the movies The Breakup, Source Code, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. It was also shown in Kanye West’s music video “Homecoming,” which featured Coldplay’s frontrunner Chris Martin.

It’s now been the backdrop to millions of selfie pictures, thanks to its unique design and reflective qualities. 

The Chicago Bean Is Constantly Cleaned

City workers use a power hose and wipe the Chicago Bean down daily. The sculpture is also deep cleaned and washed twice a year with 40 gallons of detergent. 

The Chicago Bean Is Just Minutes Away from the Chicago Office of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard

To get to the Chicago office of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., head north on N. Michigan Ave toward E Washington St at Cloud Gate. Turn left onto E Randolph St. Turn right onto N LaSalle St. Turn right at the first cross street toward N. Clark St. Turn right at the first cross street onto N Clark St. Our office is on the left at 161 N Clark St, Suite 4700, Chicago, IL 60601.

Contact us if you have any problems finding our office.