Chicago River by Boat, Part 1

23 05 2008

Last weekend, a friend of ours invited us onto his boat. He and his boat partner wanted to take their boat out of dry dock and put it into their space at Belmont Harbor for the summer. In order to do that, they had to navigate the boat down the Chicago River from the north side of Chicago south through downtown and out to Lake Michigan. We came along for the ride, and it was a perfect warm Spring day. Charles and I had a fantastic time, and we are grateful to J and P for letting us come along the ride!

Around the first bend, we got a nice view of the River North area where we saw this delightful park. River North is a nice area of downtown where strangely enough a lot of Chicago Bulls and Cubs players live.

A few minutes later we passed by the venerable East Bank Club, a gym where a bunch of celebrities and professional athletes have memberships. I’ve heard that the Chicago Bulls work out here, in addition to Oprah. Oprah’s studio and the United Center are just a little west of this area. Now that I think about it, this club is probably one of the reasons so many pro athletes live near here.

After passing the East Bank Club, we came upon the fork in the river and this wonderful skyline view. You can see the Sears Tower right in the middle of the photograph.

Right at the fork of the river is the magnificently curved 333 Wacker Drive. This photogenic office building has been featured in numerous movies and commercials. In “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Ferris’ dad worked in this building.

We decided to take the right fork of the river (southward) so we could pick up lunch. The bridge below is for cars on the lower level and has El tracks on top. The green and pink line trains use this bridge – I know because I take it every day.

Views along the southern branch of the river include many office buildings, which come right up to the water.

It is customary to wave at other boats you pass, like this police boat. Also you want to be nice to the Chicago Police in general.

After passing under the wooden Washington Boulevard bridge, you will see the Lyric Opera‘s building on the left.

Across from the Civic Opera Building is 2 North Riverside Plaza. This building is connected to the Ogilvie Metra station through a glass pedestrian bridge.

Back on the River, we see the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the left.

All along the river are beautiful maroon painted bridges that are flanked by these small stone structures. All the bridges are able to raise themselves for large boats, and the stone structures contain the controls for these operations.

We see glimpses of the Sears Tower as we continue down the river.

Here we have an unencumbered view of the Sears Tower, the tallest building in North America.

After clearing the Sears Tower, we see the old Chicago Post Office building. No longer in use, this building was most recently used as the location for Gotham Bank and the Gotham Police Headquarters in the soon to be released new Batman movie.

Continuing down the Chicago River on the left is River City, which was designed by the same architect who was responsible for Marina City, the famous corn cob towers situated on the other branch of the river. This building complex was designed to be a self sustained city within a city.

To be continued…




2 responses

27 05 2008
Chicago River by Boat, Part 2 « Travels with Sandy

[…] we continue our journey down the Chicago River by boat on a lovely Spring day.  To see Part 1, click here.  As the boat continued down the south fork of the Chicago river away from downtown, we were […]

3 06 2008

The views of Chicago from the river are fantastic!

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