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...

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Plan Commission Goes All in On Latest Navy Pier Plan
Aug19

Plan Commission Goes All in On Latest Navy Pier Plan

  Thanks to a vote from the Chicago Plan Commission, your next trip to Navy Pier could involve a little bit of ice skating, a stroll above the waves of Lake Michigan, and an overnight stay. Commissioners yesterday approved the latest $140 million+ plan to renovate and improve Chicago’s number one tourist attraction.  Among the items given the go-ahead from the plan overseen by New York’s James Corner Field Operations:...

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More Change Planned For the Region’s Number One Tourist Attraction
Jul28

More Change Planned For the Region’s Number One Tourist Attraction

The same people who brought New York its famous High Line have unveiled their latest vision for Navy Pier. As we’ve noted before, renovation and expansion plans for Navy Pier aren’t exactly rare animals.  Sometimes it seems like you can set your clock by the semi-regular parade of proposals that come down the pike and, for the most part, fail to turn into anything real.  But the ‘Pier is getting more serious these...

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New Ferris Wheel in Place, Hotel is Next for Navy Pier
May02

New Ferris Wheel in Place, Hotel is Next for Navy Pier

Every few years the phrase “Navy Pier Hotel” pops up in the news. It comes as regularly as the springtime whiting of Lake Michigan, or Forrest Claypool starting a new government job. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Sunday that the latest hotel proposal will add 200 rooms to the entertainment and amusement complex, all presumably with lake views. The building, being developed by First Hospitality out of suburban Rosemont...

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The Wheel on the Pier Goes Round and Round
Mar02

The Wheel on the Pier Goes Round and Round

There’s snow on the ground, but construction crews at Navy Pier are giving us a taste of summer. You’ll remember that last year the 20-year-old Ferris wheel on Navy Pier was dismantled and shipped off to Branson, Missouri so that a newer, bigger, better, climate-controlled-ier wheel could be erected in its place.  The actual wheel portion was assembled a few weeks ago, and now the cabins are being hung with care....

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Slice of Life: New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Comes Full Circle
Feb19

Slice of Life: New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Comes Full Circle

We told you the story of the New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel back in June. Part of Navy Pier’s $300 million upgrade, the new Ferris Wheel has been slowly coming around, construction-wise, since December. Nearly 50 feet taller than the old wheel that took its last turn in September, the new attraction is expected begin taking Navy Pier visitors for a spin this summer. If, it turns out, you find you prefer the old Ferris Wheel to the...

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Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover Flying Along
Oct01

Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover Flying Along

Work on the Navy Pier Flyover continues in the Streeterville neighborhood, as the Chicago Department of Transportation’s project to ease congestion on the Lakefront Trail moves forward. This summer’s work has been marked not only by the changing infrastructure along the trail, but also by intermittent street closures on Grand, Illinois, and Lake Shore Drive. The $60 million project got underway last spring, and completion...

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The Most Unusual Chicago Building Permit of the Year
Aug17

The Most Unusual Chicago Building Permit of the Year

It’s no secret that Navy Pier is going to replace its current Ferris wheel with a bigger, better, more modern wheel. Nevertheless, it’s kind of strange to see it come across your desk in black and white: EXISTING OPEN AIR ASSEMBLY: REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FERRIS WHEEL, INSTALLATION OF NEW STRUCTURAL SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR FERRIS WHEEL, INSTALLATION OF NEW USER LOADING DECK, INSTALLATION OF NEW CANOPY, AND INSTALLATION OF...

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Chicago Lakefront Trail Named A Finalist For USA Today Best Urban Trail Award
Jul15

Chicago Lakefront Trail Named A Finalist For USA Today Best Urban Trail Award

Every day, rain or shine, you’ll see walkers, runners, rollerbladers and cyclists on it. It’s the Chicago Lakefront Trail. The 18-½ mile long park passes landmarks, popular sites, the Museum Campus, and harbors. It’s one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. And now, the trail is a finalist for USA Today’s 2015 10 Best Urban Trail Award. You can vote for Chicago Lakefront Trail (or one of the other nominees) here through July 20....

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Navy Pier Ferris Wheel to be Replaced with Bigger, More Modern Version
Jun23

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel to be Replaced with Bigger, More Modern Version

Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel is such a part of the city’s visual identity that it’s hard to believe it’s only been there since 1995.  Now the city has decided 20 years is long enough, and is moving forward with a plan to replace the landmark — and quickly. The wheel that we see today is an homage to the world’s first modern Ferris wheel, erected at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition down the...

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