Monday, July 13, 2009

Daphne Garden - Northerly Island

The Daphne Garden ..
Sculptor: Dessa Kirk ..
Location: Northerly Island ..

These three figurative sculptures of Daphne are all made from scraps of discarded Cadillac cars. One the the themes of this Chicago based artist of Dessa Kirk, is to find hidden beauty in ugliness.

I had long wanted to go to the Northerly island, finally I could make it ... and I loved the sculptures ... and to know that these are made of discarded metal scraps of automobiles ... I liked it even more!!!

# Another sculpture by Dessa Kirk, made from scrap metal pieces is Magdalene, in the Congress Parkway .. click here ..

The artist Dessa Kirk used the mold of her own face for the face of Daphne ...

So who was Daphne?
In Green mythology, Daphne was a beautiful girl who preferred to spend her time hunting in the woods rather than meeting men .. Apollo fell desperately in love with Daphne and began chasing her ... She ran from him faster and faster .. When Apollo was about to grasp Daphne she prayed to her father, who transformed her into a laurel tree ... her hair became leaves, her arms became branches, her feet stuck fast in the ground as roots, her face became a tree-top, she retained nothing of her former self but her beautiful face. Apollo stood amazed and said, "since you cannot be my wife, you shall be my tree. I will wear you for my crown." Apollo declared that the leaves of the laurel tree would always be green and he would always wear a wreath of laurel leaves around his head. Since then the laurel has become a symbol of victory in Greek culture.

Northerly Island is a 91 acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan .. located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. It is a man-made island [rather a peninsula] originally created to house the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933-34 ...

In the "Plan of Chicago", Daniel H. Burnham had imagined Northerly Island as one of the northern points in a series of manmade islands stretching between the Grant and Jackson Parks. His vision for this park included lagoons, harbors, beaches, recreation areas and grand stretches of green space that would provide breathtaking views of the lake and City skyline.

In 1947, a small airport "Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport" opened here on the Northerly Island ... It was a single-strip airport with about 3,900 feet and 150 feet wide runway ... In a controversial move on March 30, 2003 Mayor Daley ordered the demolition of the runway. This move was highly criticized ... However now the area has been left open for native prairie plants ...


Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Full of charm and grace. So feminine. Thanks for posting these photos.

Jyoti said...


I'm curious, is it the same anonymous, who's left comments earlier, or different???

I'd be happy if you drop a name/ nickname.

Anonymous said...


My nickname is Irga and, originally from Europe, I've been in Chicago some 4, 5 times.
Keep visiting your blog everyday, though.

Jyoti said...

Hi Irga
Thanks for visiting this blog ..
And for your comment.
I sincerely appreciate!

Anonymous said...

my nickname is Titch and i just have a question for you x

When was Daphen Garden made because i need it for my homework assiment . this is such a beutiful sculpture!!


star said...

The idea for Northerly Island began with Daniel Burnham’s “Plan of Chicago” which called for the creation of Northerly Island as a lakefront park at the northern end of a five-island chain between Jackson Park and 12th Street, the only lakefront structure to be built based on Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago. In the image to the upper right, Northerly Island forms the southern border of Chicago Harbor (now Monroe Harbor). As indicated by the color green on the original plan, the island was to be populated by trees and grass for the public enjoyment. Work on the island began in 1920 when Chicago voters approved a $20 million bond issue to create Northerly Island, with construction completed by 1925.

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Anonymous said...

What a nice place to ride a tandem bicycle with a beautiful girl.

NotABlogger said...

Great pictures and information - thank you!

streamline said...

I believe the city of Chicago would do well to construct a pedestrian bridge from the southerly tip of the island across the narrow waters adjacent to McCormick centre Lakeside Centre. This would allow for more cyclists, roller bladers and others to enjoy the Chicago Lakefront just that much more. Especially for the millions of professionals who attend McCormick centre conferences. The Daphne Artwork is simply magnificent and I have had images posted on google earth for about 4 years now. Just came back and will try to post another.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the sculptures have been moved to, they are no longer on Northerly Island

Anonymous said...

A nice typo in your section on "So who was Daphne.."
In "Greek" mythology rather than "Green" mythology
Nice page.

Lovelife said...

Chicago is an absolutely beautiful city, I saw the sculpture yesterday on Michigan and Congress, it took my breath away #beautifulart