Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Burnham’

Helmut Jahn Unveils His Vision for Revamping Navy Pier

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Navy PierCelebrity architect Helmut Jahn has created a vision for redeveloping Chicago’s Navy Pier, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016.  Writing in the Chicago Tribune about Jahn’s plan, architecture critic Blair Kamin says “Yes, it’s over the top and, in all likelihood, ridiculously expensive.  But it’s full of creative sparks — precisely what was missing from the largely predictable list of recommendations made by a visiting panel of developers in conjunction with the news about the pier’s revamp.  Think of it as a conversation starter, one that kick starts the civic debate over Chicago’s first signature public work of the post-Daley era.  So what if the twisting, 2,000-foot Chicago Spire is dead?  Now, Chicago can channel every ounce of its civic energy into rebuilding and re-conceiving the ramrod straight, 3,300-foot-long pier.”

Jahn’s proposal includes the following:

  • Build a two-story retail addition to the south of the pier’s existing corridors. This would follow the canopy’s curve and be topped by a lengthy skylight.
  • Expand the Dock Street pedestrian walkway to the south and add small angled piers for pleasure boats.
  • Build a 500-foot-tall Ferris wheel and orient it to the east and west.
  • Expand the park at the west end to include a 1,300 lower-level garage and build ramps to accommodate CTA buses.

“Even if his plan is a relic from the Age of Excess that’s seeing the light of day in the Age of Austerity, it sets the architectural agenda, raising design issues that other architects who vie for this plum job will invariably have to address,” Kamin said.  “A big design competition might yield fascinating ideas, yet it also might prove time-consuming and unwieldy.  If, as expected, pier officials issue a request for proposals, it will be essential that they look not only for a powerful design but also an architect who can meld the practical and the visionary.  Jahn’s heroic, imperfect plan is but a first step down that road.”

Illiana Expressway to Bring Growth, New Jobs to Will County, IL

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Illiana Expressway will stimulate growth in Will County.  A historic partnership between the states of Illinois and Indiana gave the green light to constructing the Illiana Expressway, a 56-mile superhighway whose goal is to ease traffic congestion, create jobs and promote economic growth.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed an agreement to construct a roadway that connects Interstate 55 in Illinois with Interstate 65 in Indiana.  An “outer encircling highway” that bypasses Chicago to the south, which was originally proposed in Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago more than 100 years ago, is now closer to becoming a reality.

“We are partners,” Quinn said as the two governors signed the agreement at a location on the Illinois/Indiana state line.  “”They’re our allies, and we’ll work together for the betterment of both of our states and the whole region.”  The Illiana Expressway is expected to create 14,000 new jobs in Illinois and enhance access to growing freight and trucking facilities in Will County.

Illinois’ and Indiana’s transportation departments will choose a consultant to begin environmental impact studies and evaluate the optimal routes later this year.  A final plan should be recommended by 2015.  Also under consideration are four-, six- and eight-lane configurations, including one that includes four truck-only lanes.

The Illiana Expressway will be convenient to two Will County land sites that Alter 360° represents in unincorporated Wilmington, IL.  One is 30650 Route 53, a 7.98 acre parcel in unincorporated Will County at the corner of Route 53 and New River Road.  Currently there is a 14,668 SF, 30-year-old industrial building on the south eastern corner.  The asset is just five miles from Interstate 55 and the Centerpoint Intermodal center.  The second is a three-parcel, 21.14-acre site on the northeast corner of Indian Trail Road and Peotone Road, just six miles from Interstate 55.  Both sites are approximately 17 miles from the proposed South Suburban Airport.

With the ink barely dry on the bi-state agreement, no start date has been set for construction of the Illiana Expressway.