While Chicago is well known for its soaring skyscrapers, it is also revered for its incredible public parks and gardens. Chicago has worked hard to find a balance between big business and open public spaces. Throughout the city, visitors can explore some beautiful greenery in unexpected places. You can visit gardens atop a building in the middle of Chicago or even inside a historic landmark. For those looking for some of the city’s best “secret gardens”, here are a few spots worth finding:
South Stanley McCormick Memorial Court
Located alongside the famed Art Institute of Chicago, the South Stanley McCormick Memorial Court is a rare gem in the bustling Michigan Avenue area. Just south of the art museum, this serene courtyard is home to the historic Fountain of the Great Lakes sculpture. This sculpture, built by Lorado Taft, is the centerpiece to this city oasis that also includes a reflecting pool and a meticulously-designed display of cockspur and locust trees.
Harold Washington Library Winter Garden
Making its home in The Loop, the Harold Washington Library Winter Garden is a beautiful room located on the ninth floor of the library. Used as a reading room and event space, this lovely spot surprises many visitors with its use of space and greenery. Filled with plants and trees, this atrium is spacious and light with its greenhouse-style roof that soars over the space.
Also referred to as the Garden of the Phoenix, Osaka Garden is an authentic Japanese garden in Hyde Park. Osaka Garden is filled with incredible landscaped features found in Japanese horticulture. It includes a pavilion, Shinto gate, and a picturesque moon bridge. Japan gifted Osaka to Chicago during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Yoko Ono even created and donated an art piece to this garden.