Navy Pier has undergone a spectacular transformation. The complex, which was originally intended for shipping and relaxation, has grown into a leading entertainment and exhibition hub. Before the opening of Chicago's Trump Tower at Marina City in 1989, Navy Pier was the city's tallest building.
When it first opened in 1910, Navy Pier was designed to be a major transportation hub with a lighthouse, bus station, and train depot. It was also expected to be a popular recreation spot with beaches, roller coasters, and other attractions. However, due to its remote location on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, few visitors came to Navy Pier.
In the late 1980s, under new management, the pier was redesigned to make it more attractive to tourists. The addition of the Crown Fountain sculpture project in 1991 further enhanced Navy Pier's reputation as a tourist attraction. In 1995, Chicago's Trump Tower was completed at Navy Pier and today it is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks.
Today, Navy Pier is home to over 100 businesses including restaurants, shops, museums, and an outdoor ice-skating rink in winter. The site also hosts many large festivals such as Summerfest, Wicker Park Fest, and Lollapalooza.
Navy Pier was rebuilt and opened to the public in 1995 as a mixed-use complex including shopping, eating, entertainment, and cultural facilities. It is located on a peninsula in the Chicago River at the end of North Michigan Avenue, near the Magnificent Mile and the Loop.
Originally built by the U.S. Navy as a training facility during World War II, it was purchased by the City of Chicago in 1963 and converted into a public park. The park features a museum, theater, art gallery, aquarium, and many other attractions. Navy Pier is also known for its annual music festival, which draws hundreds of artists from all over the world.
In addition to being a popular destination for tourists, Navy Pier is also used for numerous festivals and events annually. These include the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Auto Show, the National Cherry Pie Bake-Off, and the Halloween Parade among others.
Navy Pier offers visitors a chance to experience urban life within a mile radius of the downtown area. It's a great place for people watching, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars where you can take your time and enjoy some quality time with friends or family.
The popularity of Navy Pier has increased dramatically since it became a mixed-use venue.
Navy Pier's Multifaceted History With almost a century of continuous usage, the Navy Pier has served the city of Chicago in a variety of ways. It has served as an amusement and entertainment venue, university, naval base, army base, conference center, and food storage facility.
As early as 1872, Navy Pier was being used as a landing spot for sailors coming into Chicago from boats on the lake. By 1890, it became clear that there were not enough visitors to make operating a hotel profitable, so the navy stopped paying rent and took over the pier completely. In 1995, under new management, Navy Pier reopened its gates after a decade-long renovation project that changed the face of the pier forever. Today, Navy Pier continues to provide Chicagoans with fun outdoor activities all year round.
Navy Pier is known across America as a popular destination for families looking for entertainment options that don't require a lot of money. The pier offers high-quality exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances free of charge every day from mid-May to early September. There are also many shops and restaurants located on or near Navy Pier that are affordable for everyone in your family.
In addition to its family attractions, Navy Pier has several special events throughout the year that attract thousands of people from all over the world.
On July 15, 1916, Navy Pier was opened to the public. Originally known as the "Municipal Pier," the pier was designed by nationally acclaimed architect Charles Sumner Frost and was based on Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett's Plan of Chicago (1909). Its initial aim was to act as a freight and passenger pier. However, over the years, it has also become a popular destination for tourists, especially sailors on leave.
The first section of the pier, which is now named in his honor, was completed in 1918 at a cost of $1 million ($10 million in 2016 dollars). It stretches for about a mile between North Avenue Beach and South Waterfront, with a width of about 150 feet. The second section, which is still under construction, will run for another half-mile west from the first section and will be able to hold up to 100,000 people. It will connect with the existing pier at North Avenue Beach and will have a fine dining restaurant, ice cream shop, and theater.
In addition to its use as a recreational spot, Navy Pier is also important for its role as a shipping terminal. There are nearly 50 railroad tracks running along the edge of the pier that serve as waiting areas where cargo can be loaded and unloaded from trucks and ships. Navy Pier is also used as a staging area by firefighters when they are fighting fires nearby. In fact, the entire south side of the pier is closed to traffic during fire emergencies so that firefighters can move around safely.