The Sculpture Garden, a former parking lot, opened May 15, 1990 with its first exhibition featuring four large steel sculptures from Edward McCullough’s ‘Elegy Series’. McCullough spent seven years working the ten-part series, inspired by the poem cycle “The Duino Elegies” by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Subsequent installations highlighted other regional artists and more permanent work was installed in the early 2000s.
Openlands, an organization that works to protect the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois, worked with Columbia College Chicago from 2005 until 2008 to convert this space with native Illinois plantings. Another project partner was Clean Air Counts, an initiative that promotes emission reduction strategies. In 2005, 663 plants from the Chicago Botanic Garden were relocated to the Sculpture Garden as part of the renovation project.
- Name: Sculpture Garden
- Address: Corner of South Wabash & East 11th Street
- Size: 10,000 square feet
- Acquired by College: 1989