Chicago River: South bank / Public Art

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 Chicago Riverwalk

Chicago Riverwalk:  The walkway along the south bank of the Chicago River, extending from N Lake Shore Drive to Franklin Street.  As such, it runs along the lower Wacker Drive.

I was under the impression that Chicago Riverwalk and Chicago River Esplanade would mean the same thing … but was amused to find out that at least when it comes to Chicago, these terms are not interchangeable  and are used to refer to the north and south banks of the Chicago River respectively.

Art along the South Bank of Chicago River



Chicago River bridges

Chicago River bridges


Chicago River Bridges and Bridge Lifts 

Although bridges definitely don’t qualify as Public Art, but the Chicago River bridges are absolutely fascinating! All the Main Branch bridges are movable , and  each year in spring and fall seasons, these bridges lift, to accomodate the entry and exit of sailboats and other tall vessels, to and from Lake Michigan, for the summer months. The incredible ease with which these huge iron-&-steel structures open and close, is an absolute please to watch!

For more,  click here..




Du Sable Harbor: Core- loc Armoring Devices

From the Chicago park District website  [ click here..]   In 2000, Westrec, the company that manages the Chicago Park District’s harbors and marinas, installed several Core-loc armoring devices in Grant Park just west of the DuSable Harbor as part of a larger landscape improvement project. Although the concrete objects resemble giant versions of children’s toy jacks, they are actually functional shore protection devices which have been patented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hundreds of such Core-loc devices had previously been used to protect the wall along the edge of DuSable Harbor. The ones placed along the park’s grassy knoll no longer serve structural purpose for which they were designed, but they can be seen, instead, as interesting art objects..

For more, click here..




Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s “Wastewater System”; received this honor for being “One of the finest example of how civil engineering ingenuity shaped the development of society’s quality of life in the 20th century “.  Designated: Sep 19, 2001

 For more, click here..



Riverwalk Gateway – by Ellen Lanyon

Ellen Lanyon’s ceramic murals offers pedestrians a pictorial narrative of the city’s history as it is entwined to the Chicago River. In 1998, the painter Ellen Lanyon won a competition to create ceramic murals for the two 127-foot-long walls which marks the Chicago Riverwalk Gateway. There are in all 28 ceramic panels. 14 on each side of the north and south walls.

For more, click here..




Runis III – by Nita Sunderland

Ruins III, part of the Ruins series, was inspired by artist Nita Sunderland’s travels in Italy and England. It reflects her ongoing interest in parallels between medieval and contemporary society. In this case, Sunderland suggests the isolation that exists within a greater community dynamic. Physical separation is suggested by the placement of the figures, while division imposed by societal roles is implied by the figural silhouettes of knights, a leper and a medieval woman.

For more, click here..







Irv Kupcinet Memorial – by Preston Jackson

Irv Kupcinet’s hands are welcoming towards what was once the site of Chicago Sun Times building … which was demolished and now in it’s place stands the Trump Tower.  The memorial is donated by Krup’s family and friends. The plaque reads… “Irv Kupcinet ‘Mr Chicago’ embodied the city he loved with all his energy and enthusiasm. In his “Chicago Sun Times” column and on his television shows. Kup was honest, accurate and fair, and his commitment to charity was one we should all aspire to match.” – Mayor Richard M Daley .

For more, click here..




Heald Square Monument – by Lorado Taft and Leonard Crunelle
George Washington, Robert Morris and Hyam Salomon Memorial

Heald Square Monument honors Nathan Heald, commander of Fort Dearborn from 1810-1812. In the statue we see George Washington is portrayed clasping the hands of two of his civilian supporters, Robert Morris and Hyam Salomon. These two men could be called the financiers of the American Revolution. Lorado Taft, whose forebears fought in the Revolutionary War, designed the monument, which become his last work. It was completed by Leonard Crunelle.

For more, click here..



Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Chicago Remembers.. The memorial is dedicated to all veterans of the armed forces who served in Vietnam. It replaces the former memorial and reflecting pool located on Wacker Drive that had been dedicated by Mayor Jane M. Byrne on Nov 11, 1982. The inscribed stones from the Memorial have been incorporated in the plaza and a plaque from the Vietnamese Community of Illinois faces the original memorial location.

 For more, click here..



Fish Hotel

The Fish Hotel opened in 2005, at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue bridge [now DuSable bridge]. With the construction of Michigan Avenue underbridge, it was moved to the Dearborn Street Bridge, in 2008. It was started as a pilot project by Friends of Chicago River, a non-profit organization.

The hotel is a combination of floating and submerged  islands anchored to the steel walls lining the river. Islands are planted with wetland vegetation that will provide shelter and attract insects and other food for a variety of fish species..  – Monifa Thomas, staff reporter of [Chicago Sun Times.]

For more,  click here..


Heart Mural – by Erik DeBat..

The marker reads.. The Heart mural is an ongoing project of giving. It is a reminder to share love, happiness, and to be compassionate of one another.  Exchanging a sunny smile,  even it you can’t stop to say Hello.

For more, click here..




Ira J. Bach Walkway

Everyone knows the Wacker Drive. But few know the honorary street name Ira J. Bach Walkway .  It’s the Upper Wacker  Drive between Franklin Street and Michigan Avenue [along the Chicago River]..




Chicago River Bridgelifts.. click here..
Du Sable Harbor: Core- loc Armoring Devices.. click here..
Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium.. click here..
Riverwalk Gateway – by Ellen Lanyon.. click here..
Runis III – by Nita Sunderland.. click here..
Joanne H. Alter Plaza.. click here..
Irv Kupcinet Memorial – by Preston Jackson.. click here..
Heald Square Monument – by Lorado Taft and Leonard Crunelle.. click here..
Vietnam Veterans Memorial.. click here..
Fish Hotel.. click here..
Heart Mural – by Erik DeBat.. click here..
Ira J. Bach Walkway.. click here..


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