The History of Navy Pier, Chicago

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By Linda J

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A Glimpse of Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a place that is exquisitely beautiful and is full of attractions that are sure to make you fall in love with the city. There are countless tourist spots, museums, and establishments that you can visit to fulfill the Chicago experience. Moreover, there are countless shops, restaurants, gardens and parks that you can see in your leisurely time.

More than the beauty and business that Chicago offers, there are places with deep histories and cultural backgrounds that are more than what meets the eye. There are a lot of historical establishments that you absolutely must visit when you visit Chicago. Your trip simply won’t be complete without visiting some of these iconic historical venues.

The Navy Pier

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The Navy Pier

The Navy Pier is undoubtedly one of the most iconic tourist spots in Chicago. The Navy Pier covers about 50 acres of land that has parks, shops, restaurants, retail and gardens for the public to enjoy. It is considered as one of the top destinations in the Midwest. The Pier welcomes more than 2 million visitors annually.

But beyond the gigantic ferris wheel and the night lights that make the pier luminous and colorful at night, there is a deep history on how the Pier came about.

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How The Navy Pier Came To Be

Navy Pier History

The Navy Pier, then known as the Municipal Pier, was constructed by one of the best architects in the nation, Charles Sumber Frost. He based the design on the Plan of Chicago, designed by Bennet and Burnham.

Originally, the pier was to serves as a receiving and departure dock for passengers, freights and commute. It was also designed for recreational activities – during its early years, it was already used for public events like pageants.

In 1918, the pier served as a holding facility for those who wanted to dodge the army draft.

In 1927, it was renamed Navy Pier in honor of the WW 1 Navy Veterans.

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Appearances in Pop Culture

The Navy Pier was actually spotted in The Divergent Series as it was the venue for “Capture the Flag.” In the movie, Tris and Four climb the giant ferris wheel to serve as a vantage point to spot their enemies. In the book, the flag was hidden in one of the tight spots in Navy Pier.

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How To Get There

Navy Pier Direction

Once you’re in the city, it is fairly easy to get to the famous pier as there are a lot of bus lines / commute options that will take you to the pier. During rush hour, you can take the 2 Hyde Park Express bus. During the normal times, you can take the 65 Grand, 66 Chicago, 124 Navy Pier and the 29 State, to take you to The Navy Pier.

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