Millennium Park

‘The Bean' construction project remains ongoing as summer arrives in Chicago

The project was expected to be completed by spring, but the area remains closed to visitors

NBC Universal, Inc.

Typically, the polished skin of Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” sculpture, otherwise known as "The Bean," will reflect the images of tourists visiting the monument, but orange-vested construction workers and equipment are still surrounding it as summer nears.

Workers remain busy replacing pavers and repairing the plaza that surround the sculpture, but work had originally been targeted for completion in April.

Now, with fencing still surrounding it and work still ongoing, tourists like Aldo Dinan are left disappointed that they won't get their photos taken with the iconic attraction.

“We had no clue it was under construction,” he said. "That's a little bit disappointing."

Many others lined up Monday along the chain link fence that surrounds the Millennium Park site. Rather than see themselves in the sculpture’s skin, they instead saw construction equipment.

“I think its really iconic,” said Abby Perkins. "When you think about Chicago, you think about this skyline and the Bean in the foreground of your pictures.”

Any photos that have been taken since last fall include chain link fencing covered with green tarp and photos of the Bean.

The fences first went up in August and were supposed to be down by the spring, but with summer just around the corner, the city has been silent on when they may be coming down.

For now, tours continue, but close up views are obscured, leaving groups to suggest alternatives. Choose Chicago recommends checking out Cloud Gate from Cindy’s, the rooftop bar inside the Chicago Athletic Association. The bar is across the street from Millennium Park and features an open-air terrace.

Dutch tourists Charles and Papine were able to hold their phones up to a gap in the fence and get a few shots of the the 66 foot-long, 33-foot-high public sculpture.

“It’s a little bit disappointing but not the worst thing in the world,” Papine said.

With numerous events upcoming, including the NASCAR Street Race in July and the Democratic National Convention in August, it's still unknown when the Bean will be ready for its close-up.

NBC Chicago reached out to the Mayor’s Press Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, but had not heard back as of the airing of the story on the saga.

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