Full course description
This case traces the evolution of Millennium Park, from Mayor Richard M. Daley’s 1998 introduction of the planned makeover of an underused rail yard adjacent to Grant Park, through the new park’s opening in 2004, and its subsequent history. It weaves together video interviews and informational text to illustrate the funding mechanisms and strategies for public infrastructure projects, in particular those involving public-private partnerships. The project was also beset with cost overruns, delays, engineering challenges, and problems with management and oversight. The relatively pedestrian scheme unveiled in 1998, with an estimated cost of $150 million ($120 million public and $30 million private), grew in scope and ambition to an almost half-billion-dollar undertaking ($270 million public and $220 million private). While the end product has been widely hailed, its complex funding picture reflects the political and economic realities confronting its managers.