Navy Pier revamp seeks to expand Children's Museum

June 30, 2011

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Photo by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
A rendering of the remodeled Navy Pier

Navy Pier, the iconic Chicago lakefront destination that's Illinois' most popular tourist attraction, could be poised for a multi-million dollar revamp.  Officials with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority on Wednesday proposed a  series of expansions and enhancements to the pier that would total at least $155 million.

The announcement comes one day before the authority, known as McPier, will turn over day-to-day operation of Navy Pier to a non-profit organization. None of the plans are written in stone. Rather, they layout a possible road map for the future of the facility.

Officials said they're in talks with the Chicago Children's Museum to expand it, instead of moving it to Grant Park as the Chicago city council had previously approved amid much controversy. 

"They want more space and where they're at, it's in different levels," said Sarah Garvey, the chairman of Navy Pier, Inc., the new non-profit taking over the pier. "And so we're trying earnestly really hard. You know, we tried very hard to get as much done as we could for this. We're just not there yet.

The $155 million dollars would go toward adding more parks and trying to bring more nightlife aimed at adults to the pier. However, a top Navy Pier official also said that he doesn't think Navy Pier would be a good location for a proposed Chicago casino.