Pass/Fail: Latest Ideas for Chicago River A Mixed Bag

When it comes to the Chicago River, parks yes, "ChiDisney" no.

A new 24-acre park on the east bank of the North Branch near the Lincoln Yards project is a bold plan that provides "everything urban open space should,” said Friends of the Chicago River Executive Director Margaret Frisbie. The Chicago Sun-Times agreed, calling the idea "a golden opportunity."

The other proposal is an aerial tram that would link the Riverwalk to Navy Pier. We predict pylons obstructing river views and crowding pedestrian traffic along the Riverwalk. A number of our Facebook friends agree.

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Friends Speaks Out Against Sky Ride

Today's coverage by the Chicago Tribune highlighted Friends' position again the proposed Skyline, a gondola ride that would pass over the Chicago River from Navy Pier and then the Chicago Riverwalk

"We appreciate the promoters desire to make Chicago an even better place to visit,"  said Margaret Frisbie, Friends' executive director. "But as a city and a region we spent too many years looking down on the Chicago River literally and figuratively and we don’t want that to happen again.”

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Friends, Coalition Partners Release Plan for North Branch Park & Preserve

This week Friends of the Chicago River and a diverse group of civic leaders and stakeholder groups released their vision for a concept park along the North Branch of the Chicago River within the footprint of the North Branch Framework Plan, the first rezoning leveraged by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Industrial Corridor Modernization Initiative.

Designed to complement the new plan and Sterling Bay’s massive Lincoln Yards development, the North Branch Park and Nature Preserve envisions a signature park located within the former Planned Manufacturing District footprint to illustrate how adjacent environmentally-challenged and underutilized parcels can be assembled and transitioned into an amenity that elevates value for Lincoln Yards, serves Chicago residents, and enhances the ecology of the Chicago River.


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