I don't see any posts about Riverview which was such a big part of Chicago. I have very vague memories, but love to hear stories about it. It closed before I was a teen so my expierences are limited, but I lived not far away.
Saw this site somewhere; I think posted on Forgotten Chicago. I just bookmarked it because I didn't see all of it yet myself. Looks very interesting!
Riverview was an exciting place for my family. They used to have 2 cent days and 10 cent rides on other days. My uncles worked for Bell & Howell and they sponsored an evening at the park. We all got free ride and food coupons.
It was gritty and smelly (mouldy Tunnel of Love and canvas cover to the Caterpillar). The side show with the snake woman and others filled you with awe and a bit of sympathy as did the dunking booths filled with all black men.
This was not Great America--it was real unvarnished America.
> Is there anything left of Riverview these days? I
> thought I remember reading that the base of the
> water ride was still out there.
I don't think anything is really left of the park. Saw a few pics of what was described to be the base of a few rides that were level with the ground, but the area was so overgrown and/or re-purposed I'm not sure how anyone could have identified the stuff. Certainly nothing obvious, at least to my eyes. Wonder if the Chicago River holds some secrets?
I'll close with saying that I have not been there since I was a kid, so **maybe** some stuff was saved and is on the site.
The river may hold some secrets. There was a ride at the back of the park near the river. It was a revolving tower to which airplanes were hung by chains. As I recall the planes were pretty big and held several passengers. The planes loaded at ground level and the ride would slowly spin until the planes hung almost straight out--there are variations of this ride everywhere.
I remember hearing that the chains broke on one of the planes and it was hurled into the river. (If so, better than into the crowds.) I don't know any more of the details. Of course the plane was recovered but there may be other stuff at the river bottom; old souvenirs, etc.
no deterioration at all in Riverview's final years, they always kept it sharp & spotless and I enjoyed it to the very end.
I think about the western ave overpass there very soon to be demolished. Riverview gets the wrecking ball in 1967, and the overpass built for the sake of it (a few years earlier) proves useful for another 49 years before it's appointment with the same wrecking ball, even though the original traffic congestion issue is long gone. Both whacky and ironic outcome in my view
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2016 12:48PM by the_mogra.
the overpass speeds traffic on western ave - and speeds it right past the police station (which didn't exist when the overpass was first built). the city doesn't like that. that's why when the central ave overpass was re-built they trimmed its north end so it wouldn't speed traffic past the police station @ grand ave (which also wasn't there when that overpass was first built). you know nowadays Chicago would never do something like build an overpass for the sake of traffic congestion caused my an amusement park. for all the win-win situations foisted by the powers that be, karma requires a balance with the western ave overpass--the demolition of which is a lose-lose proposition if ever there was one
> They'll regret tearing that overpass down, since
> it also helps traffic to/from Clybourn. But what
> dos an old traffic engineer know?
What they really want to do is turn Western into a class II truck route.
Right now it it ends at that overpass. The width is too narrow for 4 truck lanes, So they either have to rebuild it wider or tear it down and use the full 100' ROW on Western. Which do you think is cheaper?
I wouldn't worry about Clybourn. The AADT is bupkis up there. Something like 8500.
> What they really want to do is turn Western into a
> class II truck route.
> Right now it it ends at that overpass. The width
> is too narrow for 4 truck lanes, So they either
> have to rebuild it wider or tear it down and use
> the full 100' ROW on Western. Which do you think
> is cheaper?
> I wouldn't worry about Clybourn. The AADT is
> bupkis up there. Something like 8500.