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|Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %)||22 (9.4 %)|
Our stellar fall weather continued, and on Saturday, I was on Chicago’s newest suspension bridge1 just a few days after it opened. It is the second suspension bridge in the city, and crosses over Lake Shore Drive to connect the ‘mainland’ side of the city to the lake side. Everyone I spoke with was excited about the opening – from the retiree who almost danced across to the other side, to the bikers who extolled the virtue of not having to haul bikes up and down the three flights of stairs to cross the Drive, to the timid young man looking with awe at the bridge from his backyard, and the man who crossed over with his two children – all enjoyed the moment and the newness.
- Isn’t She Lovely?: This title from an old school song celebrating a new birth captures the moment — the bridge breathes new life to this south side community by creating an easy connection from the neighborhood to the lake front. Her feet seemed not to touch the ground, arms spread wide, as she twirled on the path, the retiree celebrated how easy it was for her to cross to the lakefront. “This is wonderful,” she said. “I’m going to get a bike and start riding now!”
- No More Stairs: More than one biker cited this as an advantage of the new bridge. All had huge smiles as they rode across, chatted with others, and took in the view from the bridge. Several described how they had watched the area throughout the construction, watching the stately bridge emerge.
- Stephen A. Douglas Memorial: At first, I thought the man atop the column was a part of the construction team, and was doing something with the bridge. Over time, I noticed he didn’t move, nor was he really connected to the bridge. It was then that I realized the only reason I was noticing it at all was because it was so close to the bridge pillar, and i could see it while on my frequent lakefront walks. Once the bridge opened to traffic, I had to go see the man on the column – turns out it was Douglas’ tomb, a state of IL historical site and monument to the late U.S. Senator from Illinois. Who knew? Amazing what you find out about your community with improved access!
- What’s on the Other Side?: The young man standing fearfully behind the fenced in wall just wasn’t ready for the openness enabled by the bridge. This image shows the view he could see from his vantage point behind the bridge and the Catholic Archdiocese building (who knew THIS was here?). We chatted, and he wondered about the other side: What was there? Was it safe? What happened to the stairs? I assured him that it was safe, an easy and accessible walk, and a beautiful addition providing lakefront access.
- We Made It!: This young father brought his sons to walk across the bridge, overcoming their reluctance. Of course, as kids do, once they reached the expansive lakefront park, they seemed to enjoy themselves, running, climbing, and playing in the park.
- Rising Over the Color: In this image the bridge is seen rising over the carpet of fall color — trees, shrubs, flowers covering the lakefront parks’ sloping hills.
Yes, the bridge presents a new vantage point from which to enjoy Chicago’s south side – connecting the Bronzeville neighborhood to the nearby but previously inaccessible lakefront for residents, pedestrians, cyclists, runners, and all who desire to see the other side. Hope you enjoy these 5* images and a view of the bridge.