Friday, February 20, 2009

Eco-Bridge or Not, This Looks Like a Good Idea

"Chicago Eco-Bridge to 2016"
Jetson Green (February 20, 2009)

"This conceptual proposal for Chicago's Monroe Harbor was designed in honor of the great American architect Daniel Burnham, but perhaps more importantly, to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic games. The proposal is a modern interpretation of Burnam's 1909 master plan for Chicago. In a land locked city, the Chicago Eco-Bridge offers an extension of the landscape that would dramatically change the face of the city, and perhaps the United States...."

The post does a good job of describing this impressive - and ambitious - project, with maps, renderings, and a diagram or two. In one of the renderings, the "central observation tower" looks a lot like Brancusi's "Bird in Space:" on a gargantuan scale. "Chicago Eco-Bridge to 2016" compares it to "a next-generation Statue of Liberty of sorts, welcoming the world once again to America."

That reference to "the great American architect Daniel Burnham" may be a little obscure. From Chicago Park District:

"...Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks. His vision for this park included lagoons, harbors, beaches, recreation areas, a scenic drive and grand stretches of green space that would provide breathtaking views of the lake and City skyline...."

Northerly Island was the only part of the island chain build, and for a half-century or so it was mostly a small airfield: Meigs Field. Since 1996, Meigs Field has been gone, and Northerly Island is growing into something closer to Burnham's idea.

More about Northerly Island, at:
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