If it wasn’t for a certain sporting event in Wrigleyville, the opening of the Loopside Chicago Riverwalk extension would have been the best thing that happened in Chicago over the weekend. But unlike the Northsiders going to the World Series, building the riparian extravaganza didn’t take seven decades.
If you’ve been downtown in the last year or so, you probably have seen, walked, or even dined on the lovely and varied waterside ledge that now runs from Lake Michigan to Lake Street. The final pieces of the project opened over the weekend:
- The Water Plaza (between LaSalle Street and Wells Street): A water feature for children and families to engage with water at the river’s edge.
- The Jetty (Wells Street to Franklin Street): A series of piers and floating wetland gardens with interactive learning about the ecology of the river, including opportunities for fishing and identifying native plants.
- The Riverbank (Franklin Street to Lake Street): An accessible walkway and new marine edge creates access to Lake Street and features a public lawn at the confluence. It provides an accessible route from lower to upper Wacker and Lake Street. The City is continuing to explore possibilities for how the room can be developed.
The Jetty is our favorite portion of the project, because it includes improvements and amenities both above, and below the water, with the return of the Chicago Fish Hotel.
Super thanks to Ian Achong,who beat the crowds to the linear aquatic park on Sunday morning, and dunked these photos in our tip line.