Will Good Design Ruin Navy Pier?

Architecture critic Blair Kamin has an interesting take on the planned $115 revamp of Chicago's top tourist attraction. He wonders if James Corner's "high design" can meld with Navy Pier's "seductive riot of carnival midway tackiness."
Bernt Rostad / flickr

"As my mind drifted from the pier's seductive riot of carnival midway tackiness to the upcoming revamp of its public spaces, I had what is (for an architecture critic, at least) a terrible thought: Will the sort of high design that gave us Millennium Park be incompatible with the populist playground that is the pier?"

"Navy Pier officials obviously don't think so, and there is reason to believe they may be right," he observes.

"The reconstruction, expected to start in late September, seems likely to strike a balance between accepting the pier's eclectic activity mix and transforming the 3,000-foot icon into a distinguished destination that dials down commercialism in favor of pleasures only a waterfront promenade can deliver."

Full Story: Navy Pier redesign walks the line between populist and classy

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