Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicago's Navy Pier

Where do I begin with such a place? Especially when I've never really explored it. I think we walked out to the end and had a beer in a café (or maybe it was called a beer garden) once. But I've never been to any of the attractions on the pier, and there are many.

A view of the entrance to Chicago's Navy Pier.

The pier was built in 1916 and reaches out over a kilometer into Lake Michigan. It was originally planned as part of a larger waterfront development and as a center for shipping and warehousing activities. It served as a military base during the first World War and was subsequently named "Navy Pier."

Today it is a vast public space filled with attractions that include a giant Ferris wheel, a children's museum, an IMAX theater, parks, gardens, restaurants, and general exhibition halls. It's also the embarkation point for numerous lake cruise operators. Quite an impressive place at 200,000 square meters (more than 50 acres).

This is the ninth in a brief series of photos that I took while visiting Chicago in June 1996. They're 35mm color slides that I've scanned and digitized.


  1. It looks terribly jolly and far superior to the piers we are used to in English seaside towns, most of which are now crumbling away for lack of investment...due to most people now taking their holidays abroad.

  2. I really must get to Chicago one day. The problem is, there are so many places and I'm running out of days.

  3. It looks like a nice place.
    Seriously! I got nothing "funny" to say about it. Can you post another picture of Jesus?
    Your Friend, m.

  4. Oh, my heavens, I had NO idea this was all up there in Chicago!

  5. My thoughts exactly, Judeet!
    Thanks again, Walt!


  6. I used to live a few blocks from it; I remember when it was just a closed dumpy no-fun spot. Its revival is one if Chicago's great successes.

  7. jean, I've never really explored it, but I understand there's a lot to see and do. And the views of the Chicago skyline are brilliant.

    starman, I know what you mean.

    mark, I only got the one. He was moving fast...

    judy, you need to get up there!

    bettyann, you, too!

    michael, it's nice to see cities alive and cared for.

  8. From 1946 until 1965 Navy Pier also housed the campus for the University of Illinois-Chicago. My Dad attended school there. Although currently Navy Pier is largely a tourist destination (it has some of the shtick of SF's Pier-39 ) there is also the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (not a bad seat in the house) and some great restaurants. Chicago's public radio station WBEZ broadcasts from Navy Pier and there is a children museum. I like to take out of town visitors to Navy Pier for lunch or dinner at Riva for the TERRIFIC views of the city...

  9. Best time all in one place. Navy Pier is one of the must see place in Chicago, if you are visiting Chicago and not going to Navy Pier than you are loosing the major attraction in Chicago. It is on the banks of Lake Michigan. It offers various water cruises ranging from sailing ship and has a largest Ferris wheel which can show you the sky view of Chicago skyline.

  10. Great blog post! I felt like a visitor in my own city, as I saw it through your eyes. You definitely hit a lot of great places! I just signed my husband and I up for the architecture tour - can't wait!
    "Chicago IT"


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