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Without Bounds or Limits: An Online Exhibition of the Plan of Chicago

May 14, 2010–May 14, 2010

Without Bounds or Limits: An Online Exhibition of the Plan of Chicago, presents a selection of original drafts, letters, meeting minutes, and images related to the Plan of Chicago, from the collections of the Ryerson and Burnham Archives at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Plan of Chicago, considered a fundamental urban planning document, presented one group's radical vision for a more beautiful, orderly, and unified city. With its lush illustrations and rousing prose, it dared its readers to not only imagine a different Chicago, but to strive to create it themselves.

The Plan is remarkable for several reasons. For one, in the wake of industrialization and an influx of population (including many immigrants), it refined the meaning of prosperity in a growing city, probing the quality of urban life there. The Plan also discerned Chicago's broader interconnectivity with cities across the Midwest, considering the city's impact on the surrounding plains and encouraging a more regional approach. But perhaps the most striking-and uniquely American-aspect of the Plan was its idealistic belief in Chicago as a city without limits. The planners believed their city could become the most beautiful and prosperous in the world, and they inspired its citizens to undertake the challenge.

Click here to visit this online exhibition.