CHICAGO | Navy Pier stretches across the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan and spans more than 3,000 feet. Opened in 1916, the Municipal Pier (as it was first called) was designed by architect Charles Summer Frost. Daniel Burnham, Director of Works for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, originally envisioned a total of five such piers for shipping and entertainment purposes as part of his “Master Plan of Chicago.” However, only the one was built.
Over the course of its existence, the pier has served multiple purposes. After serving as a prison for draft dodgers in World War I, for example, the Municipal Pier was renamed Navy Pier in honor of the personnel who served in the war. During World War II, the Navy used the pier to train its pilots. At a later point, Navy Pier provided residence for students of the University of Illinois at Chicago. For a time, Navy Pier hosted a music festival – ChicagoFest. Finally, in 1977, Navy Pier was designated a Chicago Landmark, a well-earned distinction.
Today, Navy Pier is a family-friendly destination with an immense variety of activities to choose from. The site offers shopping, beautiful parks, a museum, theatres of both the Shakespeare and iMax varieties, amusement park rides, river cruises, lavish fireworks displays, food and more.
600 E Grand Avenue