above> looking east towards lake michigan, orleans street bridge in foreground
last january 2014, mayor rahm emanuel gave notice that he envisions big plans for the chicago river. the news included continued development on the chicago river walk project and evening lighting concepts along the walk and the bridges.
below > rendering of mayor rahm emanuel’s proposed city lights competition in chicago | looking west, dearborn street bridge in foreground | city of chicago
below> june 2015, two new sections of the riverwalk opened to the public: the river theater between clark and lasalle streets | loop spy jennifer
october 2015, emanuel unveiled plans (the jetty) for the final six blocks of development along the chicago river’s main branch, from state street to lake street. this project, developed for the chicago department of transportation by sasaki in collaboration with ross barney architects and benesch engineers.
below > rendering of the jetty between wells and orleans streets | city of chicago
above> new apple flagship in the works on michigan avenue | renderings courtesy of chicago department of planning and development
november and december 2015 several big names feel drawn to the river – were they following river development the past 23 months? in november, apple announced a new flagship store, a glass pavilion with a michigan avenue street-level steps that spill down to the chicago river’s riverwalk. the architect for this project is london-based foster + partners. [ details ]
above> nike turned a barge on the chicago river into a floating gym
december 2015, nike, nearing the culmination of its month-long #GetOutHere social media campaign urging followers to exercise outdoors during the winter, turned a barge on the chicago river into a floating gym. it’s important to keep in mind, this is a first, a major brand, heck any brand, using a barge ON the river, if only for a week, for the purpose of promoting their business.
worth mentioning, nike started planning a single national #getouthere event more than six months ago. chicago was selected as the location for this december event, per jim beeman, a nike vice president. “we always hold that chicago has some of the hardiest athletes in the world when it comes to battling the elements,” he said.
sadly, a very smart man, robert boudreau didn’t take into account that docking up on the river requires the usual red tape one might imagine. going back to september 2015, when the chicago architecture biennial was launching, boudreau, in 1974, wanting to build a 200 foot floating ‘outdoor concert hall’, was smart enough to hire esteemed philadelphia architect louis kahn to design it. he also was smart enough to ask the city of chicago if he could host concerts on the river walk in front of the steps of the river theatre during the opening week of the biennial. he asked the city just several days notice. a real shame it didn’t happen. [ details ]
anyway, floating a pop-up on the river is a no-brainer. please allow for the red tape.
below> point counterpoint ii | louis kahn