MUSEUM CAMPUS — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday unveiled ambitious plans for the future of Chicago’s Museum Campus, including pedestrian bridges, a skating rink and other studies for a possible roof over Soldier Field.
The newly released report, outlining 35 recommendations to make the region a “place where the world connects,” comes as the Chicago Bears leave the city and head to the northwest suburbs. The report, while suggesting amenities around the stadium, falls short of some of the team’s needs, including more seating, parking and revenue control.
Adding a roof or dome to the lakeside stadium could cost up to $1.5 billion, Crain reported, citing sources.
The Chicago Museum Campus includes the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field, and the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. It also includes important natural and recreational areas, including 12th Street Beach, Northerly Island Park, and the Lakefront Trail.
Key recommendations include:
- Improvements to Soldier Field, including reconfiguring but not adding seating, investigating a potential roof, and adding amenities for year-round use of the site. None of the renderings released Thursday show a dome over the stadium, which was last revised in 2002.
- Explore naming rights sponsorships at Soldier Field while retaining the name that honors its legacy as a war memorial
- Add a seasonal skating rink and winter activity rentals
- Restore the North Island as an ecological oasis
- Move the Huntington Bank Pavilion to a location just north of Soldier Field
- Reinstate a free or low-cost shuttle between various transit stops and the museum campus
- Add two pedestrian bridges over the harbor to increase accessibility to the North Island
- Added free or low-cost streetcar service to “enhance connections between the museum campus and the Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station, Roosevelt Station, and other key downtown locations.”
The implementation of each of these recommendations varies between the short term (less than one year), the medium term (less than 2 to 5 years) and the long term (more than five years), according to the report.
To read the full report, click here.
Here are some renderings of the proposed changes to the campus:
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