Waterline exhibition displays visions for re-thinking the Chicago River

The designs of Waterline showcase why the Chicago River should once again be considered the city’s most important asset and sets the stage for increased awareness, education and reinvention of the River.

Wolf Point , the beginning of the Chicago River’s South Branch.
Wolf Point , the beginning of the Chicago River’s South Branch.
June 07, 2012

A dozen graduate design students studying with Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) Urban Design Partner Philip J. Enquist spent a semester investigating issues and opportunities for a stretch of the Chicago River’s South Branch from Wolf Point to Pilsen.

Waterline presents their proposals for this critical stretch of urban waterway in a summer-long exhibit at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. 

The diverse group of students, representing concentrations in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and urban planning developed a broad variety of solutions to ponder. Waterline proposals include using underutilized riverfront land to create a new micro-economy, re-visioning post-industrial properties as a riparian habitat that could leverage public and private investment into a new kind of development, reclaiming Pilsen’s vacant industrial corridor as a Chicago Water Institute and extending the existing River City development into a more naturally cohesive “Water City.”

The Chicago River was the city’s superhighway in the early decades of Chicago’s existence. Its initial development was neither pedestrian-friendly, civic in nature nor environmentally smart. The designs of Waterline showcase why the Chicago River should once again be considered the city’s most important asset and sets the stage for increased awareness, education and reinvention of the River.

Waterline opens to the public on June 22, 2012 and continues at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum through August 31.

OPENING RECEPTION

Waterline opens with a reception from 5 to 7 PM on June 21, 2012 and will be on display at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum through August 31. Previews and press availabilities will be provided by appointment starting June 11, 2012.

Please request appointments through Ed Keegan at (312) 360-4557 or Edward.keegan@som.com. If you are planning to attend the opening reception, please RSVP to beth.murin@som.com or by phone (312) 360-4179 and be sure to mention that you’re a member of the media.

PARTICIPANTS

Participating students in Waterline include Adriana Chavez, Aleksandr Nizhikhovskiy, Cameron Barradale, Catherine Tang, Evelyn Zwiebach, Nina Chase, Roger Weber, Sadatu Dennis, Stephanie Saltzman, Suemac Hatcher, and William Dibernardo. Instructor Philip Enquist was assisted by Teaching Assistant Conor O’Shea. +

         
 

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