Friday, November 29, 2013

River Point -- A Progress Report

In my last post I wrote about the incredible 14-month project to straighten the south branch of the river, move a tangle of railroad tracks from one side to the other, and open up three new Chicago through-streets.

My guess is that the great majority of Chicagoans living in 1929 paid little attention to the project and an equally large number never personally saw any of it happening.

This summer a project began that, although not as massive an undertaking as that 1929 effort, certainly has matched it as far as the efficiency with which it has been carried out.

I first posted photos of the River Point project, the 45-story Pickard Chilton design at 444 West Lake Street, dead center at the point where the main channel of the Chicago River splits to the north and south. 

I grabbed a few shots back in June as the work barge was tied up at the site and preliminary excavation was under way.  I returned toward the end of August, and it was clear how much progress had been made in a couple of months.  A little over a week ago, I made my third visit, and at that time the progress was, to me, even more impressive . . . so much so that the relationship of the busy work site today and the rendering of the finished park and river walk as they were first proposed are undeniable.

See what you think . . . 

River Side -- June 23, 2013 (JWB Photo)
River Side -- August 28, 2013 (JWB Photo)
River Side -- November 21, 2013 (JWB Photo)
Railroad Tracks -- June 23, 2013 (JWB Photo)
Railroad Tracks -- August 28, 2013 (JWB Photo)

Railroad tracks, underneath a new park -- November 21, 2013 (JWB Photo)

Looking south from Canal Street -- June 23, 2013
Looking north toward Canal Street -- August 28, 2013

Looking south from Canal Street -- November 21, 2013 (JWB Photo)

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