As you may know, each year the staff at Hoerr Schaudt straps on our construction vests and heads off to Michigan Avenue to layout the summer annual installations we have become known for in the median planters. We just completed this year’s layout a few weeks ago and we’re really proud of the results.

Layout week is a big team effort, and not just at Hoerr Schaudt – installing the materials on Michigan Avenue involves the coordination of three different contractors, representatives from the City of Chicago and local businesses, twenty Hoerr Schaudt designers, and a 35-man installation crew. Each year, it’s my job to stand next to the trucks as the plants are unloaded and count each and every one to confirm that everything we’ve planned for is delivered and installed. This year I counted and inspected nearly 25,000 plants in more than 30 different varieties.

Once the plants are delivered to the medians, the Hoerr Schaudt design team places them in just the right locations – taking into account the design of the planter, the best growing condition for each plant, and how they will look from the road. Then the Chicago Christian Industrial League (CCIL) follows behind our designers, digging the holes and putting the plants in the ground. All of this with cars whizzing by and plenty of encouraging (or sometimes simply colorful) remarks from passersby enjoying a stroll through Millennium Park.

Standing in the middle of these medians gives you a pretty powerful feeling, feeling the buzz of the city happening all around you.

Some of the HSLA crew as the night wraps up.

After a week of hard work and late nights (we typically start on the medians around 7pm and have been known to work well past midnight) we have the pleasure of stepping back and seeing the fruits of our labor.

This summer’s install is only a few weeks old, but the plants are already taking root in the soil and thriving in their new homes. They’ll keep growing and spilling elegantly out of their planters throughout the summer, greeting us all with lush glimpses of color from Randolph to the lake.

What do you think of our medians? Use the comments section to give us some feedback on our city’s most famous streetscape.

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