Chicago Reclaims Its River

The opening of a "striking" new boathouse designed by noted architect Jeanne Gang along the Chicago River is a major milestone in the transformation of the city's "Ol’ Pisspot” into a public amenity.

"The evolution of the Chicago River from 'the Stinky,' as it was once called, to the city’s second watery playground, has the makings of a rags-to-riches story. The river, like those in most American metropolises, long served as an industrial transport system," writes Lori Rotenberk.

Beginning with the creation of Chicago River Development Plan under Mayor Richard M. Daley, the transformation of the river has continued with Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts to "turn the waterway a into the city’s next recreational frontier."

A series of four new boathouses, including Gang's Clark Park facility, reflect Chicago's embrace of the river as a centerpiece of the city, rather than “a back alleyway filled with sewage and trash.”

Full Story: Chicago turns “the Ol’ Pisspot” into a watery urban playground


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