Status Update: The Nichols Bridgeway
After yesterday’s mini-rant about the Art Institute’s Modern Wing, it seemed logical to follow that up with an update on the bridge that will link the museum with Millennium Park.
The 620-foot-long bridge has a Renzo Piano pedigree and like most modern architecture is simple in design. In fact, it’s a big white pipe cut in half. A culvert, really. Which I guess is symbolic or ironic or something since it’s supposed to “funnel” people into the park from the museum. Clever.
Did we really need to spend a brazillion dollars to have Piano tell us to build a pipe? And did we even need a bridge in the first place? I’m not questioning the utility of finding a way to get thousands of tourists across Monroe Street. I’ve seen enough of them almost get creamed while jaywalking with their noses buried in their pop-out maps. But was a bridge the best way to go? Couldn’t we have sent them underMonroe along the existing pathway at a fraction of the price?
Regardless, the bridge is here and I’m going to try hard to learn to love it. Currently it has a lot of nasty rust all over it and it looks like a broadcast antenna fell down. But come spring when it’s all nice and shiny and painted I hope I’ll find it’s the next best thing to sliced bread. Or one of those pop-out maps.