Navy Pier, Meigs Field, Soldier Field

To begin our secton of the TOK project restoring the Chicago Lake front,  our group looked for what the problems were with Navy Pier, Meigs Field, and Soldier Field. The problems we found dealt mostly with aesthetics, history, and politics. Navy Pier needed some type of attraction to make it less of a dead-end area; Meigs Field had historic value to those who use it; Soldier Field was highly unattractive during off-season and was rarely used  when the Bears were not playing. To fix these problems, we broke down
in to groups and tackled them one by one.

Navy Pier
Navy Pier's biggest problem is that it leads nowhere. Its biggest attractions are the Children's Museum, Crystal Gardens Restaurant, IMAX Theatre, and the McDonald's Ferris Wheel: the first three are all inside of the building. We decided that we could extend Navy Pier through a boardwalk and add carnival type entertainment. The names of the rides are based on Chicago features (Bulls-Go-Round, Drop-your-sox, etc) and smaller games. Behind the games is a history of Lake Michigan and information on water pollution and other problems encountered by the Lake. This plan is educational because of the information on the Lake and will 'pay for itself' through tourism and use of the attractions.

Meigs Field
Our first thought on Meigs Field was that we should turn the old airport into a conservation park and leave it as that. We wanted to do something that would help the lake and also help other areas of the world at the same time. In our research on how to do this overhaul of Meigs, we found a plan already designed by the Mayor which included a wetlands conservation park plus walking parks, botanical gardens, ice caves, children's parks, and a sound park. We took this plan and amended it so that we could make Meigs an area of education about Lake Michigan. We added facts about Michigan at all
the parks and an observation deck at the furthest south public area which looked out over the wetlands. These decks would include more information on the Lake, wetlands, and how to become a member of the Friends Of Lake Michigan group, a not-for-profit organization which supports the health of Lake Michigan.

Soldier Field
The idea for the revamping of Soldier Field was rather simple. A retractable dome would be added (an idea already in place by Mayor Daley), so that the field's use could be prolonged. More people would be interested in going to football and soccer games in the winter if it were warmer, so profit from Soldier Field games would increase. Also, the field could be used for concerts and conventions, as it already has been by U2 and the Rolling Stones. With a retractable dome, even more concerts could take
place there, furthering the profit. The mayor's budget for the renovation of Soldier Field, including the retractable dome, is $395 million, and so ours would probably be similar to that amount. The money brought in by concerts, games, and conventions (about $300/office space), however, would eventually equal and surpass the amount spent.

Last updated 4/18/1999