Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Hotel on Chicago's lakefront? I guess Daniel Burnham's great plan of no buildings on the lakefront doesn't apply to Rahm Emanuel's connected friends.... City Council’s Zoning Committee signs off on Navy Pier makeover
Those changes, it is hoped, would help boost year-round attendance by 33 percent within five years, a pier official said.
The City Council’s Zoning Committee signed off on a long-awaited makeover of the state’s No. 1 tourist attraction that would bring to life the underutilized east end of Navy Pier with an elevated walkway and reflecting pool.
The centennial makeover also includes a seven-story, 240-room hotel; a seasonal ice-skating rink within the footprint of the fountain and surrounding lawn; a sloped-roof welcome pavilion with 4,000 square feet of café, retail, cultural and recreation space; and short-term boat docking facilities on the north side of the pier.
The hotel is expected to come first along the pier’s south dock. The rest of the improvements will depend on the generosity of private donors.
A $20 million “legacy gift” from the Polk Bros. Foundation, which bankrolled a new park at the entrance of Navy Pier and other elements of the phase one makeover, is expected to provide momentum for the fundraising campaign ahead.
“This removes the carnival-like, 30-year aesthetic that should have gone a long time ago and replaces it with open green space,” said downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), whose ward includes Navy Pier.
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