SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know Navy Pier is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago and Illinois. Many people would say don't change it because it is successful. I personally believe that it is one of our most wonderful assets but don't find it very interesting. It has spectacular views but boring and typical uses. Most Chicagoans will visit but are not excited about returning. It needs better open spaces and attractions that will draw Chicagoans back over and over. What types of uses would you plan or place at NP?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
A: Another pier should be built to the south- 1 or 2 ped bridges to connect.
B: Great Lakes cruises need to be marketed better and expand as a part of our tourism strategy.
C: More plants & trees, landscaping, gardens both indoor and outdoor. More interaction with the actual lake rather than some stupid Disney-like pier sitting on top of a natural wonder.
D: More outdoor artwork/ sculptures/ gardens/ etc...
E: Something that doesn't make me angry for paying so much and getting so little.
F: Emphasize the booze cruise- perhaps nothing is more enjoyable than drinking, eating, socializing, listening to good music, and having the best views of the city on the great lake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^^
All great ideas. I would also like to see more quality restaurants with scenic views, a large produce market, seafood market, cheese and wine and other gourmet speciality markets with in and outdoor dining options. All of these markets would be flexible (open air during good weather days and enclosed during bad days....heated and air conditioned). An example would be similar to the market in Vancouver(Granville Island). The pier should focus less on being a theme park.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
A: Another pier should be built to the south- 1 or 2 ped bridges to connect.
Such a concept would literally blow Baltimore's Inner Harbor "out of the water", taking it to a level unimagined in that east coast city, especially if that southern pier would have a truly major and well designed festival marketplace.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
F: Emphasize the booze cruise- perhaps nothing is more enjoyable than drinking, eating, socializing, listening to good music, and having the best views of the city on the great lake.
Include a cruise that would connect Chicago and Milwaukee on a daily basis that would take passengers to each city for a 5-6 hour stay. Include easy-to-use land transit from each location (or at least on the Milw end of things where it would be more needed and address tourist friendly issues).

Consider a Chicago-to-Saugatauk cruise as well.

Larger scale thought: a week long cruise ship that would make had a Chicago/Milwaukee/Door Co/Mackinac/Chervolix/Traverse/Saugatauk/Dunes/Chicago itinerary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
Include a cruise that would connect Chicago and Milwaukee on a daily basis that would take passengers to each city for a 5-6 hour stay. Include easy-to-use land transit from each location (or at least on the Milw end of things where it would be more needed and address tourist friendly issues).

Consider a Chicago-to-Saugatauk cruise as well.

Larger scale thought: a week long cruise ship that would make had a Chicago/Milwaukee/Door Co/Mackinac/Chervolix/Traverse/Saugatauk/Dunes/Chicago itinerary.
You are still thinking too small.

Imagine several large cruise ships cruising the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence seaway between April and October, going from Chicago to Duluth, Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Buffalo, and Montreal/Quebec. Traveling the Soo locks, stopping at Isle Royale, Mackinac, Niagra Falls, Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks, Door county, visiting the Stratford Shakesphere festival and the Niagra on the Lake Shaw festival, autumn color cruising in Sept/Oct.

This would be great tourism, and should really be as popular as many other cruises, combining seven or eight great urban centers with areas of pristine natural beauty. The variety of settings along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence are incredibly varied. I can think of dozens of interesting itineraries lasting from three days to three weeks along these routes. Since the tours could be international (US/Canada) that also opens up the possibility of gaming on board as well. There are many cruise lines in Europe operating the Mediterranian and Baltic seas as well as the Rhine and Danube rivers. I don't see why such as cruise line could not be developed in the Great Lakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
I know Navy Pier is one of the top tourist attractions in Chicago and Illinois. Many people would say don't change it because it is successful. I personally believe that it is one of our most wonderful assets but don't find it very interesting. It has spectacular views but boring and typical uses. Most Chicagoans will visit but are not excited about returning. It needs better open spaces and attractions that will draw Chicagoans back over and over. What types of uses would you plan or place at NP?
As long asyou bring it up, I tend to agree and have been a little underwhelmed with Navy Pier myself. I went there for a while while it was a two year college and actually found it more interesting way back then. The University did have frequent special concerts in the auditorium at the end of the pier. (I remember seeing Oscar Brown Jr. and Gibson and Camp for free. Good times.)

I think the problem with the Pier as it is is that too much of the pier is covered over. The best piers never lose contact with the water. Attractions like the maze and the childrens museum could as easily be built inland.

I like the suggestion of building a second pier next to the main one. A lot of piers like the Santa Monica(my current home) Pier and the Redondo Beach Pier are actually multiple piers.

The key to good development of a pier IMHO is to keep it open to the sky. You can have some covered spaces for restaurants and clubs but generally you want to be able to smell fresh sea air. You don't go to a pier to be inside.

My favorite sea side piers (Santa Monica, Santa Cruz) tend to be a little
tacky and carnival like. I think Chicago could use this kind of amusement. I feel a little sorry for Chicagoans who have to go all the way out to Gurnee and Great America to indulge in a little roller coaster action, especially the South siders. Chicago used to have one of the great traditional amusement parks, Riverview, until it was torn down in the late sixties, a terrible crime.

I would put a little Riverview/Tivoli gardens on a pier next to the current pier. Rebuild the "Bobs", the "Silver Streak", the "Flying Turns", the "Shoot the Chutes", "Alladin's Castle", and the "Parachute Jump". Don't forget the kiddy rides, sideshows and the carnival games.

Leave space for a long promenade over the water, fishing boats, and pierside fishing as well. Get the boys from Lettuce Entertain You to build a unique seafood restaurant. Build a food court similar to the San Francisco Ferry Building.

Scatter some clubs with entertainment and bandshells for jazz, folk, and blues performances. Keep the architecture Coney Island exotic with pagodas, castles and towers; blast music through the air. Give the folks a place to dance, stroll and just have a good time.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
You are still thinking too small.

Imagine several large cruise ships cruising the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence seaway between April and October, going from Chicago to Duluth, Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Buffalo, and Montreal/Quebec. Traveling the Soo locks, stopping at Isle Royale, Mackinac, Niagra Falls, Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks, Door county, visiting the Stratford Shakesphere festival and the Niagra on the Lake Shaw festival, autumn color cruising in Sept/Oct.

This would be great tourism, and should really be as popular as many other cruises, combining seven or eight great urban centers with areas of pristine natural beauty. The variety of settings along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence are incredibly varied. I can think of dozens of interesting itineraries lasting from three days to three weeks along these routes. Since the tours could be international (US/Canada) that also opens up the possibility of gaming on board as well. There are many cruise lines in Europe operating the Mediterranian and Baltic seas as well as the Rhine and Danube rivers. I don't see why such as cruise line could not be developed in the Great Lakes.
have you been hiding recently? haven't seen too many posts as of late.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
Leave space for a long promenade over the water, fishing boats, and pierside fishing as well. Get the boys from Lettuce Entertain You to build a unique seafood restaurant. Build a food court similar to the San Francisco Ferry Building.
While I think a major retail market with many vendors like what you see at the Ferry Bldg is a good idea, I think Navy Pier's location is actually more Fisherman's Wharf than it is Ferry Bldg. The SF facility not only can take advantage of Marin and East Bay commuters, but its Market & Embarcadero location is close by the business district with density residential components at Embarcadero Center and Golden Gateway. NavyPier, like the Wharf is in SF, is more edge-of-downtown in nature and might not be suitable for the type of market you suggest. Actually the SF concept is more in line what has been planned and agonizingly hasn't been brought to fruitation in the lower level of Ogilve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I say make Navy Pier appear less touristy. The place screams tourist trap. Does anyone have the renderings of the proposed renovation of Navy Pier???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I'd move all of the commercial boat ports to the opposite (north) side. It definitely needs more restaurant vitality and variety (Who goes there for McDonald's?). All the existing restaurant leases should be canceled and new ones brought in; with only two year lease maximums. Once the Children's Museum is gone, there should be a Casino with a Hotel!
 

·
4th Level of Hades
Joined
·
709 Posts
I say make Navy Pier appear less touristy. The place screams tourist trap.
I agree. I'd actually be curious to know if tourists are disappointed in Navy Pier these days (i.e. would they recommend their friends to visit.) I usually hit the touristy places in other towns I visit, but I'm also telling everyone I know if it's a waste of time, should they every plan to visit. Is it just a been-there-done-that destination, or would people actually go back?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
I say make Navy Pier appear less touristy. The place screams tourist trap. Does anyone have the renderings of the proposed renovation of Navy Pier???
Possible solution: go with the two pier idea with a new one paralleling the old south of the river. Let that one be more of the tourist mecca; that would be a comfortable role for a pier that would be an easy connection to Mil Pk via the serpentine bridge. Make Navy Pier into the more Chicago-oriented pier.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
There are limits to how much more attraction oriented the Navy Pier area could become, but if that parallel pier were a possiblity, could an additional component possibly be linking the Pier with the city through a transition zone of the River Walk from Michigan Ave to the lake on both river banks?

What if this portion of the river walk could be made into its most intense part, feeding off of its proximity to NP and creating an almost San Antonio like river walk. Its center piece, the sanitary district fountain, is already in place. And Lakeshore East's riverfront lacks the classical beauty of Wacker west of Michigan and would thus accomodate larger scale development that would enhance that riverfront, as opposed to detracting from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,553 Posts
Having visited Chicago from Miami, unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with Navy Pier. I mean it was nice for a while but it was really expensive for very little. I'd rather just walk around the city than go to Navy Pier. But then again, I hate tourist traps so that might be it. I know that if I lived in Chicago, I'd go a few times and that's it, but definitely not regularly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
^ Word. I go to the pier once a year/ twice tops. Usually because I get dragged into going. I don't like it. The pier itself can't seem to make up its mind on what it is exactly. Is it a half-assed attempt at a weak coney island? It is a half-assed attempt at Milwaukee's summerfest grounds? Nobody really knows what the hell it really is. I like the stained glass art museum. I like the cruises and the imax, and there are some good restaurants. It just needs more and needs to offer more along the lines of incorpoating a "lake michigan experience." Besides the lakefront parks, the city does little or nothing to incorporate the actual lake into its plan. The city needs to provide incentives for entrepreneurs/ investors/ businesses to open new operations (cruise lines) There are hundreds of beautiful places to visit all over lake michigan, and chicago has done very little to nothing to take advantage of that. We need another pier and/or ship harbor to handle more and larger ships- perhaps even hovercrafts- to take advantage of what the lake has to offer.
Think about this: Flying into chicago to stay at a nice hotel for a couple nights, then boarding a ship and taking a cruise to saugatuk, or upper peninsula somwhere, or just plain cruising around the lake for a few days. That's a trip I would love to take in the good weather months! I don't see why that wouldn't work. I've always wondered "why hasn't this happened?" Obviously, the answer is that there is no infrastructure to support such businesses. You think people would like to have to get to calumet harbor for that? Hell no!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
9,194 Posts
^ Word. I go to the pier once a year/ twice tops. Usually because I get dragged into going. I don't like it. The pier itself can't seem to make up its mind on what it is exactly. Is it a half-assed attempt at a weak coney island? It is a half-assed attempt at Milwaukee's summerfest grounds? Nobody really knows what the hell it really is. I like the stained glass art museum. I like the cruises and the imax, and there are some good restaurants. It just needs more and needs to offer more along the lines of incorpoating a "lake michigan experience." Besides the lakefront parks, the city does little or nothing to incorporate the actual lake into its plan. The city needs to provide incentives for entrepreneurs/ investors/ businesses to open new operations (cruise lines) There are hundreds of beautiful places to visit all over lake michigan, and chicago has done very little to nothing to take advantage of that. We need another pier and/or ship harbor to handle more and larger ships- perhaps even hovercrafts- to take advantage of what the lake has to offer.
Think about this: Flying into chicago to stay at a nice hotel for a couple nights, then boarding a ship and taking a cruise to saugatuk, or upper peninsula somwhere, or just plain cruising around the lake for a few days. That's a trip I would love to take in the good weather months! I don't see why that wouldn't work. I've always wondered "why hasn't this happened?" Obviously, the answer is that there is no infrastructure to support such businesses. You think people would like to have to get to calumet harbor for that? Hell no!
if I had a dollar for every San Franciscan who goes to Fisherman's Wharf willingly instead of being dragged by out-of-town relatives, I'd die a very poor man.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top