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February 16 , 2010

Navy Pier

A Chicago Landmark


Since 1673 when Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet portaged through the territory that is now Chicago, water transportation has been vital to the city's growth. In the early twentieth century, when Daniel Burnham put together his master plan for the design of Chicago—a plan intended to create a sense of civic virtue—he envisioned a grand municipal pier for public recreation near the central city. Later modified for multiple uses by the Chicago-Harbor Commission, Navy Pier opened in 1916. This glorious extension into Lake Michigan was a feat of engineering not unlike the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, and prompted a similar fascination. In this entertaining history, abundantly illustrated with 75 photographs and 32 color plates, Douglas Bukowski traces the origins and construction of Navy Pier, its "golden era" to 1940, its uses in the World War II home front, its college campus years, and its rediscovery and redevelopment for recreational use from the 1970s to the present. Daniel Burnham's advice to Chicago to "make no little plans" is beautifully captured in this book. A publication of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority of Chicago.

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