Elwira Chesney

Elwira Chesney

Published: 12 Sep 2023

Source: Blockclubchicago.org

The Cloud Gate, affectionately known as “The Bean,” is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks. Located in Millennium Park, this stunning sculpture has become a must-see attraction for both locals and visitors from around the world. Designed by artist Anish Kapoor, The Bean has captivated spectators with its unique shape and reflective surface since its unveiling in 2006.

But beyond its captivating appearance, The Bean holds many fascinating facts that make it even more intriguing. From its construction to its symbolism, this article will delve into 15 fascinating facts about The Cloud Gate (The Bean) that will deepen your appreciation for this remarkable piece of art. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets behind this beloved Chicago landmark.

Table of Contents

The Cloud Gate is a massive sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

The Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean,” is a stunning sculpture located in Millennium Park, Chicago. Designed by artist Anish Kapoor, it has become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The sculpture weighs a whopping 110 tons.

Constructed of stainless steel plates, The Bean weighs an impressive 110 tons, making it a marvel of engineering.

The Cloud Gate’s reflective surface creates mesmerizing distortions.

The polished stainless steel surface of The Bean reflects and distorts the surrounding skyline, providing a unique and surreal experience for visitors.

The sculpture measures 33 feet by 66 feet by 42 feet.

With its massive dimensions, The Cloud Gate is an imposing presence in Millennium Park.

It was inspired by liquid mercury.

Anish Kapoor drew inspiration from the liquid appearance of mercury when conceptualizing The Bean’s unique shape.

The Cloud Gate was unveiled to the public in 2004.

After years of planning and construction, The Bean was officially revealed to the public on May 15, 2004.

The sculpture underwent a major restoration in 2016.

In 2016, The Cloud Gate underwent a significant restoration to repair any wear and tear from the elements and maintain its pristine appearance.

It attracts millions of visitors each year.

The Bean’s distinctive design and popularity as a tourist attraction draw in crowds of visitors from around the world, with millions flocking to see it every year.

The sculpture has its own webcam.

To allow people to experience The Cloud Gate from anywhere in the world, a live webcam was installed, providing real-time views of the sculpture.

The Bean has been featured in numerous films and TV shows.

The unique and futuristic look of The Cloud Gate has made it a desirable filming location, appearing in various movies and television shows over the years.

The Cloud Gate’s surface is incredibly smooth.

The stainless steel plates that make up The Bean’s surface have been meticulously polished to achieve a smooth and flawless finish.

It can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Designed to withstand Chicago’s harsh winters and strong winds, The Cloud Gate is made to endure extreme weather conditions without any damage.

The Bean’s design allows for interactive experiences.

Visitors can walk around, under, and even touch The Cloud Gate, creating interactive and immersive experiences.

The sculpture reflects the ever-changing cityscape.

As the surrounding skyline evolves, The Bean’s reflective surface captures and reflects the dynamic changes, creating an ever-changing visual display.

The Cloud Gate has become a symbol of Chicago.

With its unique design and cultural significance, The Bean has become an unmistakable symbol of the city of Chicago, representing its innovation and artistic spirit.


The Cloud Gate, also known as The Bean, is truly a remarkable landmark that captivates both locals and visitors alike. Standing proudly in Millennium Park in Chicago, this iconic stainless steel sculpture has become an architectural marvel and a symbol of the city. Its unique shape and reflective surface invite people to interact with it in a myriad of ways, making it a popular spot for photography, selfies, and social gatherings.

Aside from its visually stunning appearance, The Cloud Gate holds many fascinating facts that make it even more intriguing. From its massive size to its innovative design, there is always something new to learn about this iconic landmark.

So, whether you’re planning a trip to Chicago or simply have a curious mind, exploring these 15 fascinating facts about The Cloud Gate will surely deepen your appreciation for this exceptional work of art.


1. Who created The Cloud Gate?

The Cloud Gate was created by British artist Anish Kapoor.

2. How tall is The Bean?

The Cloud Gate stands at 33 feet high and weighs a staggering 110 tons.

3. What is The Bean made of?

The sculpture is made of polished stainless steel plates, giving it its iconic reflective surface.

4. Can you touch The Cloud Gate?

Absolutely! Visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with the sculpture.

5. Why is it called The Bean?

The nickname “The Bean” comes from the sculpture’s shape, resembling a giant bean or seed.

6. How is The Cloud Gate maintained?

Specialists periodically clean and polish The Cloud Gate to maintain its reflective surface and remove any scratches.

7. Are there any special events held at The Cloud Gate?

Yes, The Cloud Gate has been the venue for various public events, including concerts, performances, and art exhibits.

8. Can you go inside The Bean?

Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter the interior of the sculpture.

9. Are there any hidden messages or meanings behind The Cloud Gate?

Anish Kapoor intended for the sculpture to be open to interpretation, allowing viewers to find their own meaning in its reflection and distortions.

10. How much did The Cloud Gate cost to build?

The Cloud Gate had an estimated cost of $23 million to design and construct.

11. Is The Cloud Gate illuminated at night?

Yes, the sculpture is illuminated at night, providing a captivating view for nighttime visitors.

12. How many visitors does The Bean attract annually?

The Cloud Gate attracts millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most popular landmarks in Chicago.

13. Can you see your reflection in The Cloud Gate?

Yes, the polished stainless steel surface allows visitors to see their distorted reflections in The Cloud Gate.

14. Are there any other public artworks by Anish Kapoor?

Yes, Anish Kapoor has created several other public artworks around the world, including the famous “ArcelorMittal Orbit” in London.

15. Is there an admission fee to see The Cloud Gate?

No, visiting The Cloud Gate in Millennium Park is free of charge for all visitors to enjoy.