The Burnham Plan CentennialThe Plan of Chicago A Regional Legacy
Legacy of the Plan
Illustration from the plan, plate 132

Instead of a monumental Civic Center (above) at Congress and Halsted, the site is today the interchange from which the region’s superhighways radiate (below right). In the late 1920s, Bennett envisioned Congress Street as a landscaped parkway (below left).

An illustration showing Congress Street with rows of trees on either side from The Axis of Chicago, 1929 and a present day photo of the highway interchanges at Congress and Halsted An illustration showing "General diagram of exterior highways encircling and radiating from the city"

Regional highways Burnham saw as useful for commerce and recreation reshaped the region in ways he could not foresee.

A photograph of Bennett's neoclassical elements and an illustration of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge from a postcard

Bennett’s neoclassical elements such as obelisks and stone balusters (left, at Wacker and Michigan) continue to be reinterpreted as modern markers of civic pride. The 1937 Lake Shore Drive Bridge (right) was built in the moderne style, not the classical look favored by Bennett.