River District Revised, Upsized, and Amazon-ized

Forget all those nice diagrams submitted to the City of Chicago last September showing the details of the proposed River District development on the Chicago River.  According to a vinyl banner hanging on a bridge, things have just gotten a lot more interesting at the Tribune Media development.

A photograph of the banner in question has been making the rounds of the internet for the last few days.  Word is that there is at least one more banner at the River District site, this one showing a building with the Amazon.com logo on it.

That logo is not surprising, as the banners were put up for last week’s inspection tour by the Amazon.com HQ2 scouting team.  The group also checked out The 78 Chicago, a huge vacant space south of Roosevelt Road; Lincoln Yards, a huge vacant space along the Chicago River; and The Burnham Development, a huge vacant space along the Lake Michigan shore.  The team also checked out West Town, the thriving district largely vacated by its meatpacking and industrial forebears.

It’s hard to compare the banner image to the renderings of this project previously released because the view is from the opposite direction.  But the buildings certainly look taller and glassier, and there is a new bridge spanning the river between the River District and Erie Park.

We can, however, get a glimpse into what the folk from the Emerald City saw when they came to Chicago.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel is flogging a 90-second video showcasing the city and its history.  Well, mostly it’s just a lot of dots spinning around like that pre-recorded drone ballet from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.  But it’s narrated by Willam Shatner.  And having lived in a Seattle skyscraper that was 40% Amazon employees, I can tell you that was probably a good move.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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