Seeking Beauty on a Winter Day | Grant Park Shines Covered in Snow

2 January 2018

Residents of 1000M will enjoy one of Chicago’s most gorgeous front yards: Grant Park. And while many people revel in the Park’s lush greenery and blooms, even a cold winter day delivers some dazzle, providing an opportunity to seek unexpected beauty in the colder months.

Walking through Grant Park when the snow falls — especially if you get there before too many people tread through the snow or enjoy some sledding — can give you a new perspective on life, love — or even the cold snap that’s making everyone grumble.

 

When you step off the beaten path, you will find yourself in one of the myriad lesser-known sanctuaries within Grant Park; here’s a bit about one of our favorites:

Just south of the tree field near Van Buren Street sits Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State, a larger-than-life bronze statue created by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1908 that sits atop a pedestal and exedra designed by architect Stanford White. It was installed in Grant Park in 1926, following its exhibition at the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1915 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

 

The Head of State in snowy Grant Park 
Abraham Lincoln: The Head of State in snowy Grant Park 
Photo Credit: Justin Kern
Creative Commons License: http://bit.ly/RT9dL0

 

This seated Lincoln is one of our favorite sculptures in the city, possibly because it is so tranquil and contemplative. According to Saint-Gaudens, he wanted to illuminate the burdens Lincoln experienced during his presidency. Lincoln gazes south, out into the distance towards the Art in the Farm area of the park and further beyond.

We like to imagine he’s thinking about the future, about the country’s potential for greatness. That sort of fits into the fate of this area Grant Park, which was originally designated to house many sculptures and be called the Court of Presidents. (So far, Lincoln remains the solitary sculpture in the area, but maybe someday…)

 

Snow covered Grant Park bench

 

Leisurely walks through the snowy park are really all about optimism. As you cross the bridge over the railroad tracks, fascinating patterns emerge as you gaze down on the trains below at the steps leading toward the Sir Georg Solti Garden and Michigan Avenue — even when looking between the stone balusters south toward the Congress Hotel.

 

Grant Park Snow
Photo Credit: Curt Wagner

Recognizing the potential for beauty in all the stark grays, blacks and whites clears your head and gives you a lift, even on wintry Chicago days.

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Grant Park // 1000M’s Front Yard // A Winter Day