"This is one of the best things we can do to improve not just our neighborhood, but the entire city"
The initiative hopes to improve safety, correct traffic issues, and create 70 acres of new public space.
Taking inspiration from Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago, an effort to completely redefine Lake Shore Drive between Ohio Street and North Avenue is still being pushed by a number of Chicagoans. At its heart, the plan would straighten out and bury Lake Shore Drive’s tight and dangerous Oak Street S-bend and would provide unfettered pedestrian access to 70 acres of newly created lakefront parkland, beaches, trails, and a breakwater island.
With a price tag reaching as high as $500 million, the project would be hugely expensive and would require the cooperation of multiple local, state, and federal entities like the various Departments of Transportation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Provided the massive undertaking is approved and funding can be secured, construction wouldn’t begin until at least the year 2020 and will likely take many years to complete.
Upcoming retail space would face Chicago’s new flagship Apple store
Situated directly across the river from downtown Chicago’s upcoming Apple store designed by Foster + Partners, the modernist office tower by Mies van der Rohe is hoping to mirror its waterfront neighbor by adding a flagship retail space of its own. Considered to be the gateway to the 4.6 million square-foot Illinois Center office complex, the 1970 building at 111 E. Wacker is in the process of getting its previously exposed street-level plaza transformed into a new two-story enclosure designed by Goettsch Partners.
Chicago’s Willis Tower reveals plan for ambitious $500M makeover
The renovation is described as a “transformative plan” that will both “restore and transform an iconic American skyscraper,” the plan will completely reshape the skyscraper’s street level presence by wrapping the base in a new three-story structure designed by global design firm Gentler. It aims to reposition the iconic tower as the Loop’s next great destination. The crown jewel of the retail podium will be a soaring so-called Winter Garden with a dramatic, wave-like glass atrium providing visitors with an uninterrupted skyward view of Chicago’s tallest building.
The new addition will be topped by a 30,000-square-foot public outdoor space, effectively increasing the tower’s current green space by 500 percent.
(Source: Curbed Chicago)
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