A funny thing happened when they rebuilt the east-west segment of Wacker Drive, the double-wide, double-deck roadway that runs along the south bank of the Chicago River. For cars, it was finished completely in 2002. For people, well, the attitude was that they'd get to it eventually. No one had bothered to get the money for finishing the lower riverfront promenade, and it's remained in a raw, abject state ever since, mitigated only by a series of rudimentary summertime cafes.
Tonight, Wednesday February 6th, the Chicago Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting to formally present plans for the completion of the Chicago Riverwalk. The session will be at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
The Cove, south bank, Dearborn to Clark (click images for larger view)
Main Branch Framework Plan, which provided co-ordinated analysis and proposals for the entire stretch of the river from Wolf Point to the Lake. It's scope was sweeping, from completion of DuSable Park to the East, to a public market under upper Wacker, to a “Confluence District” along all banks around the split of the river into north and south branches at Wolf Point.
Last October, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans for the completion of the Riverwalk - “our second shoreline” - the final six blocks from State Street to Lake Street. Partners in the project are Ross Barney Architects, Sasaki Associates, Alfred Benesch and Company, and Jacobs/Ryan Associates.
|Franklin to Lake segment of riverwalk, current condition|
|The Boardwalk, Franklin to Lake segment, new plan|
|The Confluence, Franklin to Lake segment, 2009 SOM plan|
|The Marina, State to Dearborn segment, new plan|
|The Jetty, Wells to Franklin segment, new plan|
|The River Theater, Clark to LaSalle segment, new plan|
|The Swimming Hole, LaSalle to Wells segment, new plan|