A Radical Proposal for North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
"An ambitious $177 million proposal to overhaul the lakefront from Olive Park to North Avenue Beach includes creating a new offshore island, straightening the S-curve and burying part of Lake Shore Drive underground," reports Lizzie Schiffman.
A group of Streeterville neighborhood residents commissioned VOA Associates to design the plan. The plan also "calls for expanding beaches at Ohio and Oak streets and adding 60 acres of parkland to the lakefront." Moreover, "[a] nearly 745,000-square-foot coastal island would provide additional protection to the lakeshore," and "[the] project would create 1.2 miles of additional shoreline."
Similar to the "Our Lakefront" plan proposed in 2013, the current proposal grew out of a response to the city's efforts to rethink Lake Shore Drive. Whether this type of neighborhood-sourced, ground up designing and planning is possible in Chicago remains to be seen.