|CDOT Chicago Riverwalk proposal - The Cove (click images for larger view)|
|CDOT Chicago Riverwalk proposal - River Theater, Clark to Lasalle|
“For those of you who are into landscape architecture, I really like to point out the great job the team did on the tree pits and the tree gates. This is the first of its kind tree gate - instead of having a typical boxed pit, we're doing trenches, mostly, so it's going to help with the sustainability of the trees over the long term. You can also see they've cut into the steps for the tree grates to help with the life of the tree.”
It's here where you could imagine audiences gathering for formal programming, and then you have to figure out where you put the performers. One thing that's missing from the formal CDOT presentations is context. There are a lot of renderings of what the new installations would look like, and few showing what they're actually looking at on the other side of the river. In the case of the River Theater, the direct backdrop is the the 1914 Reid Murdoch Building, with its distinctive clock tower.
|set for Giordano's Andrea Chénier © Bregenz Festival -photograph: Kristi Sauer|
Oh, sorry, got a bit carried away for a moment there. I can just picture the very idea of a floating barge large enough to support an opera sending the Army Corp of Engineers into convulsions, but entertainment on a saner scale isn't only possible; it's already being done.
Last year, or maybe the year before, I was coming home, walking along the north branch by the ABA Tower, when I heard jazz music wafting up in the night air. , ne of the seasonal cafes set up in what under the new proposals is to be The Cove on the south bank, had blues and jazz nights throughout the summer, and as I listened, I shared the music with an impromptu flotilla of boats hovering on the river around the cafe. With the music playing out in a soft acoustic like a velvet glove, the traffic moving along Wacker, and the lights of the skyscrapers reflected in the windshields of the boats as they bobbed on the water, it was if the entire river had become a hypnotic music video.
The River Theater is the last block in the new Riverwalk proposals where CDOT says the design work is 90% done. For the balance of the blocks, going to Lake Street, the design work is said to be only 10%, but there are already some ideas, and we'll cover them in our last post of River Walk proposals next week.