“Navy Pier, the popular tourist attraction in Illinois which had last been renovated in 1999 is about to get a new feel and look. The general consensus has been that the pier needs new ideas and should be made beautiful to attract year-round visitors. The boards responsible for Navy Pier approved a plan to renovate it in hopes of getting regular visitors as well as catering to the requirements of adults.
Navy Pier was built at a cost of $4.5 million and it was the largest pier in the world when it was opened to the public in 1916. It was built with dual purpose in mind that of being a shipping yard as well as being an entertainment centre. During World War I the pier was used by soldiers, the Red Cross and Home Defense units. In honor of the Navy personnel that served there during the war, the pier was named Navy Pier in 1927.
Presently, Navy Pier offers several attractions including fireworks displays during summer, boats and cruises, rides and attractions, and entertainment. It hosts hundreds of free shows, concerts and special events for people of all ages at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the IMAX Theatre and at the Pepsi Skyline Stage. Spread over an area of more than 50 acres, Navy Pier has parks, promenades, gardens, shops and restaurants to cater to the needs of people.
Navy Pier Inc., a non-profit group set up to manage the pier site, and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, commonly called McPier have joined hands to celebrate the 100th birthday of Navy Pier in 2016. As per the estimates, this upgrade is likely to cost $155 million which will be used to expand the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a redesigned Family Pavilion, changes to Festival hall and includes a hotel at the pierâ€™s east end which will have more than 100 rooms.
Pier executives have promised to solicit public suggestions via social media and at navypier.com, a kiosk in the Family Pavilion. They also plan to conduct a six-month search for design teams to submit ideas for the pierâ€™s public areas. McPier has agreed to provide $50 million in seed cash and the remaining amount will be raised through corporate sponsorships, donations and income from tenants and attractions.
If these plans are approved and renovations done on time, the Navy Pier will have a completely new look on its 100th birthday in 2016.”