No, That’s not a Roller Coaster Being Built on the South Side
Jun26

No, That’s not a Roller Coaster Being Built on the South Side

Driving into the city along Lake Shore Drive from the South Side provides some of the most magnificent views of Chicago available.  It also affords the opportunity to drive beneath what looks like an awesome big blue roller coaster. This is not Riverview II.  It’s actually the latest bridge connecting the city’s neighborhoods with the littoral pleasures of the Lake Michigan shoreline: The 41st Street Bridge, designed by...

Read More
If You Believe in Chicago, Rahm Has a Bridge to Sell You — No, Really
Jun20

If You Believe in Chicago, Rahm Has a Bridge to Sell You — No, Really

How Chicago are you? Sure, you’ve got a game ball you caught in the cheap seats at Wrigley Field.  Yes, you have all 5,600 Studs Terkel WFMT recordings on your iPod .  You even have the CTA map shower curtain.  But do you have a Chicago bridge of your very own? Loop North News reports that the city is going to part with one of its most traveled bridges: The Chicago Avenue bridge. The best part is that this unique piece of city...

Read More
North Side’s Serpentine Underbridge Now Underway
Oct10

North Side’s Serpentine Underbridge Now Underway

After several years of watching Chicago’s near northwestish side enjoy the benefits of its celebrated, elevated, urban park, the mid-northish side is now getting in on some of the 606 love. Except this time, it’s called the 312 RiverRun.  And it promises to be way more awesome than the already world-renowned High Line clone a few dozen blocks away. While the 606 was formed from a recycled elevated freight rail line, the...

Read More
A Closer Look at Bronzeville’s New Pedestrian Connection
Nov28

A Closer Look at Bronzeville’s New Pedestrian Connection

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month we told you that CDOT opened a new suspension bridge linking Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood with the Lake Michigan shore. For a closer look a the project, we turn to Chicago Architecture’s resident bridge expert, Patrick McBriarty. You’ve probably seen him on TV or heard him on the radio lately, as there are few people who know more about the city’s bridges. The long...

Read More
Spire Watchers On Alert, But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
Nov23

Spire Watchers On Alert, But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Streeterville residents anxiously awaiting news about what will become of the curious lot at 400 North Lake Shore Drive have been on alert recently.  That’s because some very sinister-looking tanks have recently appeared on the site that was, not so long ago, going to be the home of North America’s tallest building. Today that site is the home of Chicago’s largest light socket.  Or deepest concrete swimming hole.  Or...

Read More
31 Months In, Here’s What the Navy Pier Flyover Looks Like
Nov16

31 Months In, Here’s What the Navy Pier Flyover Looks Like

From below, it still looks like segments of the bleached spine of a great sea monster washed up on the Chicago shoreline. But soon CDOT will finish assembling this serpentine collection of angles and curves into a new method of moving from north to south and south to north without setting dinosaurs on fire. The Navy Pier Flyover is well on its way to looking like the pedestrian, bicycle, Segway, pedicab, and...

Read More
Celebrating the Double-Decker Centurion on Lake Street
Nov07

Celebrating the Double-Decker Centurion on Lake Street

It’s been a good couple of weeks for celebrations in Chicago. And if you have any ice cream cake left over from the Cubs big victory, bung a candle in it and prepare to toast that iron horse of aerobatics and commerce: The Lake Street Bridge. Today’s Lake Street Bridge opened on November 6, 1916 and was the world’s very first double-decker, double-leaf bascule bridge. This second generation Chicago-type bascule is the fifth bridge at...

Read More
Status Update: 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge Nearing Completion
Nov01

Status Update: 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge Nearing Completion

The boot bridge bonding Bronzeville with the big blue beyond is nearing completion. The Chicago Department of Transportation posted the photo below on its Twitter feed, showing the single-cable suspension bridge snaking over Lake Shore Drive and the Canadian National railroad tracks. The old 1940’s-era bridge was a rusty, old, narrow steel box that was anything but inviting. It looked more appropriate for linking a couple of...

Read More
How Many 100-Year-Old Bridges Are There in Chicago?
Mar24

How Many 100-Year-Old Bridges Are There in Chicago?

Taking stock of my favorite topic – Chicago’s bridges – it is of particular note that this year four Chicago bridges will see their 100th anniversary.  Amazingly all four are still in use serving the Drawbridge Capital of the World. That is, Chicago. Jackson Boulevard Bridge opened on January 29, 1916 Chicago & North Western Railroad Bridge (near North Ashland Street) opened July 30, 1916 Webster Street Bridge opened August 3,...

Read More
Navy Pier Flyover Snakes Its Way Toward Completion
Dec21

Navy Pier Flyover Snakes Its Way Toward Completion

The serpentine bicycling, jogging, roller-blading, walking, and Segwaying path linking the north and south sides of the Chicago River near Navy Pier is making great strides.  “Serpentine” is an apt description of the project as at this point, a good portion of it looks like the sinuous skeleton of a serpent, laid bare against the elements. Work continues to extend the metal rib cage toward Jane Addams park, while adding...

Read More