Riverwalk East opens today as part of the Chicago Riverwalk celebration

Riverwalk East opens today as part of the Chicago Riverwalk celebration

Chicago Riverwalk East, a 1.25 mile section between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive on the south side of the Chicago River opens today.

The $12 million investment marks the completion of the Riverwalk which the City of Chicago is celebrating this week (today through Sunday) with free public programming and vendor specials.

The pomade includes new landscape, seating, public art, vendor spaces and a Community Market Place.

“Chicago is reconnecting with the River in a way that improves our quality of life, protects our environment and enhances economic development that is sustainable for future generations,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The completion of Riverwalk East is a major milestone in that journey. We are finally fulfilling Daniel Burnham’s original vision of Chicago as a true two-waterfront city.”

The design team, led by Mueller and Mueller, worked with the landscape architecture firm of Site Design Group to substantially complete this reimagination of Riverwalk East. This design emphasizes the transition from a park-like environment on the east end near Lake Shore Drive to the urban civic space of Michigan Avenue and creates areas of public seating surrounded by landscaping.

The new Riverwalk East space includes: 10,000 square feet of “play” space; 94 new LED dark sky compliant light fixtures; three public restrooms; approximately 150 new tree plantings from 35 different species to increase the diversity of the urban tree canopy, and 20 types of furnishings from the Riverwalk palette increasing public seating by over 500 along the Riverwalk.

The new Community Marketplace scheduled to open in June and will feature the following new vendors:

  • Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk, currently operating in the Lakeview neighborhood, will offer food and beverage items, specializing in tacos, pizzas and salads, including vegan options.
  • Batter and Berries, currently operating in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, will provide soul food inspired dishes, including breakfast.
  • Chiya Chia, currently operating in the Logan Square neighborhood, will provide a variety of chias and interesting curry pies inspired by Nepal.
  • Gordo’s Homemade Ice Cream, currently operating in the South Loop and Edgewater neighborhoods, will provide homemade ice cream bars dipped in a variety of toppings.
  • Justice of the Pies, currently a Chicago City Market favorite, will provide a variety of quiches and pies.
  • Luxury Cake will provide a variety of desserts including special orders for birthdays or other occasions.
  • Shop Small Chicago will provide retail options from a variety of artists and local makers.
  • Twisted Eggroll will provide interpretations of the traditional eggroll representing American favorites to cultural-inspired dishes.
  • Neighborly will provide retail options from a variety of artists and local makers.

This week’s kickoff celebration will include a new Art on theMART program, a pyrotechnic display, lantern procession, public programming, vendor specials and more.

Starting today, the Chicago Riverwalk will offer a preview of summer programming including Art on theMART, new works of public art, fireworks, tours, kayaking, fishing at the Jetty led by the Chicago Park District, and walking tours led by the Chicago Architecture Center and Chicago Greeter tours.

Additional programming will occur throughout the year.

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Filed under: Chicago Riverwalk

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