There are several attractions at Millenium Park in Chicago, but the easiest and most pleasing is listening to a performance at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, located on top of the underground-level Harris Theater. As it often hosts free concerts such as the Grant Park Music Festival, finding Jay Pritzker Pavilion parking can be a difficult task, so it makes sense to book a parking spot ahead of time so you don’t show up late to the performance.
The genesis of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion came from the development of Millennium Park itself. The city felt that there should be a venue to compliment the already-extant Petrillo Music Shell, and first turned to the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. This group proposed a much more basic design than the final project, but with additional funding (particularly by the Pritzker family), famous architect Frank Gehry was brought into the project instead. Known for his unconventional but aesthetically pleasing structures, the final design included a mix of stainless criss-crossing steel trellises for acoustics, a beautiful proscenium, bandshell, a spectacular sound system and a Great Lawn. Construction on the Pavilion took five years, from June 1999 to the July 2004 public opening. It was named after Jay Pritzker, whose family contributed funding for the Pavilion. The Pavilion can seat a maximum of 11,000 guests, with 4,000 in fixed seating and 7,000 on the Great Lawn.
An issue that had to be addressed before the structure was built was if it could be built at all due to height restrictions of Grant Park, the larger area that contains Millenium Park. As a method to get around this, the city classified the Jay Pritzker Pavilion as a work of art, which wasn’t covered by the prohibition. Another issue was the concept of whether admission would be charged for either the general or lawn seating. Despite early promises, the city began to charge money with the Tori Amos concert in 2005, which was the first rock concert at the Pavilion. Nevertheless, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion does host free events, such as the Grant Park Music Festival, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival and concerts by individual artists. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion also hosts the Summer Concert Series every Monday during the summer, with past artists including award winners like Glen Hansard and Andrew Bird. Depending on the performance, finding Jay Pritzker Pavilion parking spaces near Millenium Park may be difficult. Due to this, it is best to book Jay Pritzker Pavilion parking spaces with ParkWhiz ahead of time, or else you may have to enter the show late.
ParkWhiz is easy to use; all you need to do is find the show that you want to see, book your Pritzker Pavilion parking spot, print out your ParkWhiz parking pass and enjoy the music.