2009 marks the centennial of the Plan of Chicago prepared by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett.
In 1890, Burnham and his business partner John W. Root had been awarded the contract to oversee construction of the Chicago Columbian Exposition. After Root died prematurely in 1891, Burnham completed oversight of the Columbian Exposition and subsequently developed plans for Washington, D.C. (1901), Cleveland (1903), San Francisco (1905), and Manila (1905).
Developed under the direction of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the 1909 Plan of Chicago provided a context for the development of the city by referencing urban plans from Babylon to Paris. It was the first document to explore metropolitan design in Midwestern America. The Plan of Chicago is the most comprehensive of Burnham's plans and the one that best epitomizes the statement attributed him by Charles Moore, "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized." 1
1 Moore, Charles, Daniel H. Burnham, architect, planner of Cities. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1921. p. 147..