WBEZ | Navy Pier http://www.wbez.org/tags/navy-pier Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Navy Pier is Getting a New Ferris Wheel http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/navy-pier-getting-new-ferris-wheel-114539 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Ferris Wheel-Flickr-Richard Pilon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Navy Pier official walked Tony Sarabia through the pier&rsquo;s newest attraction...an even bigger Ferris wheel.</p></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/navy-pier-getting-new-ferris-wheel-114539 Sweet Home Navy Pier? http://www.wbez.org/news/sweet-home-navy-pier-112881 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Chicagotheater_BRC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may be known as the home of the blues, but there&rsquo;s never been a permanent space dedicated to its history, artifacts, and cultural heritage. That could soon change with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/">Chicago Blues Experience</a>, set to open at Navy Pier in 2017.</p><p>WBEZ&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519">reported earlier this year</a>&nbsp;that Navy Pier was the rumored future site of an interactive blues museum, but most details were unconfirmed until now.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s high time that this attraction and celebration honoring Chicago blues happened here,&rdquo; said Sona Wang, a venture capitalist and Managing Director of the Chicago Blues Experience.</p><p>Although the blues didn&rsquo;t start in Chicago, the music found its groove on the city&rsquo;s south side during the Great Migration. There, legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin&rsquo; Wolf, Jimmy Reed and others electrified the blues for labels like Chess Records on S. Cottage Grove and later S. Michigan Avenue.</p><p>Some local fans say that&rsquo;s where a Chicago blues museum belongs. So why build one on Navy Pier and not where musicians actually lived and played? &nbsp;</p><p>Because, Wang says, Navy Pier with its nine million annual visitors is the city&rsquo;s number one tourist attraction.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s foot traffic is unmatched by any other attraction,&rdquo; said Wang, whose group is still finalizing the museum&rsquo;s footprint at the Pier, estimated at being somewhere between 50,000 - 60,000 square feet.</p><p>Aside from a museum, Wang says CBE will have two music venues and a restaurant. The same company that produced interactive exhibits for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. (BRC Imagination Arts) will also create exhibits for CBE.</p><p>According to Wang, more than 760,000 people are projected to visit the Pier for its interactive museum.</p><p>&ldquo;The Chicago blues is an international brand that many visitors who come to the city come here hoping to and expecting to experience,&rdquo; Wang said. &ldquo;[But] that doesn&rsquo;t always happen and isn&rsquo;t as accessible as it should be.&rdquo;</p><p>The numbers Wang referred to come from a study by the Anderson Economic Group, commissioned by the CBE to determine its economic impact for Navy Pier and the city of Chicago. AEG is the same firm the Obama Foundation used to bolster the case for building the Obama Presidential Library on the city&rsquo;s south side.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="700" scrolling="no" src="https://drive.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/file/d/0B3Vhva251XObbGxETkJsOW96c2s/preview" title="Economic Impact of the Chicago Blues Experience" width="600"></iframe></p><p>A space&nbsp;at Block 37 in the Loop was considered at one point. Wang says they&rsquo;ve raised most of the 45 million dollars for the project, but won&rsquo;t say who the individual and corporate donors are. Nor is it known what kind of artifacts will be on display for visitors to see.</p><p>A spokesman for Navy Pier, which is currently in the midst of a major overhaul, confirms that talks are underway with the CBE. Pressed for more details, the spokesman said the Pier will not discuss any prospective partner until a deal has been finalized. &nbsp;</p><p><br /><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a></em></p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sweet-home-navy-pier-112881 For Chicago blues, sweet home is hard to find http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-1-Muddy-Waters-creative-commons-photo-by-Kevin-Dooley.jpg" style="height: 219px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Muddy Waters, circa 1971. The late music legend will be honored at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival (Kevin Dooley/flickr)" /><em>Updated 11:13 a.m.</em></p><p><em><em>(Editor&#39;s Note: After our story was published the Chicago Blues Experience&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobluesexperience.com/" target="_blank">launched this official website</a>.)</em></em></p><p>Back in the 1950s Buddy Guy was a young guitarist living in Louisiana. Like others he eventually traveled north to Chicago, where the blues scene was thriving.</p><p>&ldquo;Muddy Waters, Howlin&rsquo; Wolf, all those great guys,&rdquo; said Guy. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why I came here. To get a day job and go watch them play at night.&rdquo;</p><p>Those musicians not only inspired him to play, but to open the famed Checkerboard Lounge in the 1970s followed by Legends in the late 80&rsquo;s to keep the music alive. Guy says he&rsquo;ll never forget those early days watching <em>his</em> legends.</p><p>&ldquo;The beer was 25 cents a bottle when I came here. And when Muddy played there wasn&rsquo;t no cover charge. The beer was 35 cents,&rdquo; remembered Guy. &ldquo;So the 10 cents was going for the band members. Muddy Waters was in the band. And those were the greatest days of my life.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Guy just received a Lifetime Achievement award at this year&#39;s Grammys. But he and other artists in town say their music should be just as celebrated locally. And they wonder: If Chicago is the home of the blues, then why doesn&rsquo;t it have a permanent home honoring it?</p><div>The blues made important stops in Memphis and St. Louis, but Chicago is where the blues really came alive in the middle of the last century. That&rsquo;s when musicians like Muddy Waters came here from Mississippi, electrified their down home Delta Blues and recorded it for labels like Chess Records.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You can still see remnants of this history around town. Like at the old Chess Records on S. Michigan Avenue and Muddy Water&rsquo;s former house at 4339 S. Lake Park Avenue.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&ldquo;This is the house of the blues before there was a house of the blues,&rdquo; said Barry Dollins, former director of the Chicago Blues Festival, standing in front of the boarded up building. &ldquo;This was the rehearsal house.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-4-Barry-Dollins.jpg" style="float: left; height: 373px; width: 280px;" title="Former Chicago Blues Festival Director Barry Dollins stands in front of Muddy Waters’ former home (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />Muddy Waters bought the home in the 1950s at the peak of his career and lived there for 20 years. It wasn&rsquo;t just a home for Waters and his family. It was a gathering place for other musicians, where countless jam sessions were held.</p><p>Today the red brick two flat is in bad shape.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just depressing just to see that X up there,&rdquo; Dollins sighed, pointing to a big red X affixed to the front.</p><p>That X means the house is abandoned and unsafe. It&rsquo;s been on and off the market for years. Dollins says the home could&rsquo;ve served as a historic space, much like the Louis Armstrong home in New York. A place where people can see where and how the musician lived and what inspired them.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s sad that there was no forethought in what the significance of this building is,&rdquo; said Dollins. &ldquo;And how it could&rsquo;ve been preserved and utilized.&rdquo;</p><p>In some ways, the neglected house is symbolic of the overall failure to erect a permanent space to preserve Chicago&rsquo;s music heritage.</p><p>&ldquo;Why don&rsquo;t we have a blues museum? It comes down to money,&rdquo; Dollins said. &ldquo;It takes millions of dollars to create a museum.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Steve Cushing is the host of the national radio show &ldquo;Blues Before Sunrise.&rdquo; He said Chicago deserves to have a blues museum, but he&rsquo;s not sure how viable it would be.</p><p>&ldquo;How would you pay for it and where would you put it?&rdquo; asked Cushing. &ldquo;It would seem that you would want it in a place that was related to the actual location of the blues. But if you put it on the south side, would tourists, would white folks go down there?&rdquo;</p><p>If something does ever get off the ground, it won&rsquo;t be called the Chicago Blues Museum. That&rsquo;s because local guitarist Gregg Parker copyrighted that title.</p><p>&ldquo;They call me the black Indiana Jones. If I can&rsquo;t find it, it doesn&rsquo;t exist,&rdquo; said Parker.</p><p>Parker once played with Mick Jagger and Buddy Miles among others, but now mostly collects artifacts for traveling exhibitions.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need a building to do what I&rsquo;m doing. I own it,&rdquo; said Parker. &ldquo;The blues museum is a state of mind. It&rsquo;s not a building.&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, the address for Parker&rsquo;s museum&rsquo;s is a P.O. box number. He once had a storefront space but won&rsquo;t say why it closed. He gets a little defensive&nbsp;when asked when the public could see his whole collection.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to tell you my itinerary,&rdquo; scoffed Parker. &ldquo;You might be a thief!&rdquo;</p><p>Parker shows how fragmented and disorganized efforts are to showcase the blues in Chicago. Many say the only way to get everyone on the same page &mdash; and all the artifacts under one roof &mdash; is for the city of Chicago to get involved. They point out that City Hall moved mountains for the proposed George Lucas Museum and the Obama Presidential Library.</p><p>So why hasn&rsquo;t it done more for the blues?</p><p>The Department of Cultural Affairs sent this statement: &quot;The City of Chicago celebrates its rich blues music heritage each year with the world renowned Chicago Blues Festival on the shores of Lake Michigan. More than 500,000 blues fans attend the festival each year, proving that Chicago is the &ldquo;Blues Capital of the World.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But some tourists at last year&rsquo;s free festival&nbsp;said they wished there was more to see while they were in town.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been to Buddy Guy&rsquo;s place, but that&rsquo;s about it,&rdquo; said&nbsp;Karl Roque, who came all the way from the Philippines. When asked if he&rsquo;d like to see a museum dedicated to his favorite art form, Roque didn&rsquo;t hesitate. &ldquo;Yes. Why not? Maybe it&rsquo;s about time.&rdquo;</p><p>Buddy Guy agrees.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been begging for it for almost 30 years.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blues-3-Buddy-Guy.jpg" style="height: 373px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="Buddy Guy’s 78th birthday party celebration at his South Loop club Legends (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />According to Guy he may not have to wait too much longer. Guy has been working with a group that&#39;s been trying to build a blues museum for a few years now. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They already got the building on Navy Pier,&quot; said Guy. &ldquo;A blues experience museum on Navy Pier.&rdquo;</p><p>No one at Navy Pier would comment. A statement from Tim Wright, co-founder of the so-called Chicago Blues Experience, said they&rsquo;re close to finalizing the details, but can&rsquo;t confirm when.&nbsp;</p><p>In the meantime, another blues museum is moving full steam ahead. Built with a mix of public and private funds, the $13 million, 23,000 square foot space will feature interactive exhibits and a theater for live music.</p><p>But you won&rsquo;t find it in Chicago.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org/" target="_blank">National Blues Museum</a> is set to open this summer in St. Louis.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews"><em>@yolandanews</em></a> <em>&amp;&nbsp;</em><em><a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></em></p></p> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 07:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-blues-sweet-home-hard-find-111519 Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-barge-sinking-storm-navy-pier-111036 <p><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="3" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"><div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"><div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/u1U7h1rTxK/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">The remains of the zombie barge @NavyPier. #happyhalloween</a></p><p style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif;color:#c9c8cd; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A video posted by Niala Boodhoo (@nialab)&nbsp;on</p><time datetime="2014-10-31T22:13:47+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Oct 10, 2014 at 3:13pm PDT</time></div></blockquote><script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chris%20barge.PNG" style="height: 541px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Chris Hagan)" /></div><p>Footage of the Halloween zombie barge sinking at Navy Pier during a storm on Oct. 31. It&#39;s wild out there! But the Fire Department is on scene and at last check no injuries were reported.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled-503.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled-517.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-barge-sinking-storm-navy-pier-111036 Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Navy Pier - Flickr - Bernt Rostad.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With Navy Pier headed toward a re-design in the next couple years, can the design continue to attract so many tourists? And, Matteson, Illinois, officials are closing Lincoln Mall. What does this imply about the future economy of the south suburbs?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike Fireworks: Who’s burning the money? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fireworks-who%E2%80%99s-burning-money-107942 <p><p><strong><em>We&rsquo;ve <a href="#Addendum">updated this</a> story with more information on Navy Pier finances. Thanks to our question-asker, Meg White, who pressed for more reporting. </em></strong></p><p>Colorful explosions will dart across the sky Thursday, emblematic of bombs bursting in air more than two centuries ago. And although many Fourth of July firework displays are free-of-charge to the public, someone is paying for this holiday pastime.</p><p><a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/vote/current">Curious City</a> investigated the cost of fireworks after resident Meg White asked:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Does the city of Chicago (i.e.: taxpayers) pay for the biweekly fireworks displays at Navy Pier?</em></p><p>If you&rsquo;re not familiar with the &ldquo;biweekly&rdquo; reference here, you should know that <a href="http://www.navypier.com/">Navy Pier</a> hosts a free fireworks show every Wednesday and Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Since 1995, the Pier has lit up the sky every Independence Day.</p><p>Not to add more wrinkles to Meg&rsquo;s answer, but you should know, too, that the city of Chicago once hosted its own Fourth of July fireworks show. City Hall stopped footing the bill in 2011, so now Navy Pier is the city&rsquo;s only Fourth of July fireworks display.</p><p>To answer Meg&rsquo;s question, then: Navy Pier Inc., a nonprofit that manages the many activities and developments at Navy Pier, pays for the 10-minute biweekly light show.</p><p>But that doesn&rsquo;t really tell the whole story.</p><p>Since it&rsquo;s the season for fireworks, we searched to Fourth of July firework displays in the Chicago area.</p><p>This year, the Illinois State Lottery is paying for the fireworks at Navy Pier, as well as several other firework displays around the state. The state lottery is sponsoring the Navy Pier fireworks at a cost of $20,000, which includes more than just colorful combustible shells.</p><p>The state lottery is also helping sponsor displays in Champaign, Batavia, Rockford and Harvey. The latter couldn&rsquo;t afford a fireworks display a year ago. In total the state lottery is paying $38,000 for fireworks as a marketing strategy to promote their Fourth of July raffle.</p><p>Citing contract agreements, Navy Pier wouldn&rsquo;t tell how much it costs to put on its 15-minute Fourth of July fireworks.</p><p>However, other municipalities and nonprofits hosting firework displays this holiday seasons were happy to share.</p><p>Let&rsquo;s compare Fourth of July fireworks by the numbers:</p><ul><li>Navy Pier: 15 minute show. Costs are unclear, but the recent sponsorship cost $20,000</li><li>Skokie: 20 minute show. Cost: $25,000</li><li>Itasca: 25 minute show. Cost: $70,000</li><li>Crown Point: 40 minute show. Cost: $17,000</li></ul><p>It&rsquo;s worth noting that these displays are paid for by very different means. In north suburban village of Skokie, <a href="http://www.skokieparks.org/special-events">the village&rsquo;s park district</a> pays. It receives some funding from the Village of Skokie, said Michelle Tuft, superintendent of recreation and facilities. The district is not charged for using the property of local schools.</p><p>Notably, Skokie markets its fireworks display as 3-D. If you&rsquo;re asking yourself, &ldquo;Aren&rsquo;t fireworks already in 3-D?&rdquo; &nbsp;Well, you&rsquo;d be correct, but the first 10,000 people to arrive to Niles West High School receive a pair of 3-D glasses, with which you can watch the fireworks for &quot;added effects.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://www.cpjuly4.com/fireworks.php">Crown Point</a>, Ind., on the other hand, raises mostly private donations to pay for its fireworks display and Fourth of July Parade. Since the 1980s, a group of volunteer citizens have taken on the task of fundraising and organizing the town&rsquo;s Fourth of July festivities. Other than a $5,000 grant from the city, the rest is put up by individuals and corporations. Donations range in all sizes. Some, we&rsquo;re told, are as small as $3.</p><p>In total Crown Point raises around $30,000. This year, one corporate sponsor &mdash; Mike Anderson Chevrolet in Merrillville &mdash; is paying for the entire fireworks display costing $17,000. &nbsp;</p><p>Interestingly, Crown Point was the only place in the Chicago area contacted by Curious City that was not contractracting <a href="http://www.melrosepyro.com/">Melrose</a>, a pyrotechnic company. Crown Point contracts with a firm called <a href="http://www.madbomberfireworks.com/">The Mad Bomber</a>. &nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/itasca%20fireworks%20mrpeachum.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="A moment from Itasca's 2008 fireworks display. (Flickr/mrpeachum)" /></p><p>However, few firework displays compare to the size and scope of Itasca&rsquo;s 3,500-shell fireworks extravaganza, which takes four days to build and spans 30 acres. The venue can hold up to 8,500 cars and attracts around 40,0000 people.</p><p><a href="http://www.jamfests.com/itasca.html">Itasca&rsquo;s</a> show is a public-private partnership between the village and Hamilton Partners, a commercial real estate company. Roughly a third of the cost is covered using an Itasca hotel tax, which is earmarked for funding local special events. Around half the cost is offset by charging patrons $20 to park at the show (if that seems steep, organizers point out that the show itself is free). The remainder is paid for through corporate sponsorships.</p><p>Organizer Richard Staback says Itasca&rsquo;s display is one of the largest in the state.</p><p>&ldquo;There are more fireworks in our finale than most firework shows have in their entire show,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><em><a name="Addendum"></a>UPDATE:&nbsp;Last week Meg White wrote she was unsatisfied with Curious City&rsquo;s answer to her question regarding who pays for the semiweekly fireworks displays at Navy Pier. We reported that it&rsquo;s Navy Pier, Inc., but the nonprofit, which incorporated in 2011, declined to give details as to the cost of its individual firework displays. In fact, the pier declined to give any cost figures at all.</em></p><p><em>&quot;We&rsquo;re not required to give that out,&quot; said Navy Pier&rsquo;s Nick Shields. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to and we don&rsquo;t talk about it. It&rsquo;s our business practice not to give that out.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>Regardless, there are figures that give a more complete picture. According to the company&rsquo;s 2011 federal financial disclosure report (known as a &ldquo;990&rdquo;), Navy Pier Inc. paid $473,000 in 2011 to Melrose Pyrotechnics, an Indiana-based pyrotechnic company. It was Navy Pier&rsquo;s third highest-paid independent contractor that year.</em></p><p><em>There is no public data available for 2010 because Navy Pier, Inc., didn&rsquo;t exist before 2011. The 2012 paperwork is not available on reporting sites such as <a href="http://www.guidestar.org/">guidestar.org</a>. According to Shields, the nonprofit has not yet filed its paperwork for 2012.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Some of the semiweekly summer fireworks displays at Navy Pier are sponsored by public or private sponsors. (Such was the case on the Fourth of July when the Illinois Lottery purchased the sponsorship for $20,000.) The money generated through these sponsorships helps offset the cost that Navy Pier pays for fireworks services throughout the year. However, sponsorships don&rsquo;t cover the full amount. Shields didn&rsquo;t know how much of the cost is not covered by sponsorships, he said, as not all of the money Navy Pier receives from its firework-display sponsors goes directly toward shells and mortars. But he did say sponsorships don&rsquo;t cover all of the costs.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>As for taxpayers footing any remaining bill? It&rsquo;s worth noting that Navy Pier, Inc., received about 2.7 million in government grants in 2011, which was about 10 percent of their total revenue that year. The rest is generated from parking fees, amusements, retail and special events.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>To view Navy Pier&rsquo;s public 990 report, please find the attached document at the bottom of this story.&nbsp;</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Chelsi Moy is a Curious City multimedia intern at WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/chelsimoy">@chelsimoy</a>.</em></p><p><strong><a name="Audio"></a>Taking a roadtrip for the Fourth or need a soundtrack for making your watermelon salad? Here&#39;s a summer playlist from the Curious City crew:</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F7164086&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fireworks-who%E2%80%99s-burning-money-107942 Chicago officials defend plan to add arena, hotel to McCormick Place http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/chicago-officials-defend-plan-add-arena-hotel-mccormick-place-107378 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Filckr McCormick ChibiJosh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Chicago officials say a casino may not fit close to McCormick Place on the city&rsquo;s near South Side. Illinois lawmakers are debating this week whether to allow Chicago to operate its own casino, and McCormick Place has been suggested as a potential site.</p><p>&ldquo;The area where we&rsquo;re talking about, which is on the North Side of McCormick Place, there really isn&rsquo;t much in the way of land that would be big enough to encompass a full-service casino operation if we wanted to,&rdquo; said Steve Koch, Chicago&rsquo;s deputy mayor. He testified at a hearing in Springfield before some Illinois state representatives Monday.</p><p>The debate over a Chicago casino comes as city officials are lobbying for a new arena at McCormick Place, where DePaul&rsquo;s basketball team would play.</p><p>Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the ambitious projects as part of a renovation of the city&rsquo;s top tourist attractions.</p><p>The mayor&rsquo;s office estimates the 10,000-seat arena would cost $140 million, and would host DePaul University&rsquo;s men&rsquo;s basketball games, in addition to potential acts related to &nbsp;trade shows at McCormick Place.</p><p>With the addition of the hotels, the total cost of the project is about $1.1 billion.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 27 May 2013 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/chicago-officials-defend-plan-add-arena-hotel-mccormick-place-107378 Morning Shift: TIFs and Red Line reconstruction http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-20/morning-shift-tifs-and-red-line-reconstruction-107264 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/flickr_JeraSue.jpg" alt="" /><p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/the-morning-shift-tif-n-ride-on-the-cta.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/the-morning-shift-tif-n-ride-on-the-cta" target="_blank">View the story "The Morning Shift: TIFs and South Siders lose their rides on the CTA" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 20 May 2013 07:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-20/morning-shift-tifs-and-red-line-reconstruction-107264 Chicago to renovate Navy Pier, build arena http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-renovate-navy-pier-build-arena-107251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/JCFO 12_0910_gateway fountain jet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a multi-million dollar renovation plan Thursday that includes remodeling Navy Pier and building a 10,000-seat basketball arena near McCormick Place that would be the home court of DePaul University&#39;s basketball teams.</p><p>In a news release on Thursday, Emanuel&#39;s office said the first phase of a $278 million project to renovate Navy Pier will begin in the fall and will cost about $166 million. The city will put up $110 of that and private restaurants and the Chicago Children&#39;s Museum will put up the rest.</p><p>The arena built near McCormick Place also will be used as a hall for conventions and trade shows. McCormick Place and DePaul will each put up $70 million to design and build the arena.</p><p>Construction on the arena is targeted to begin in 2014, and officials hope to have it ready in time for the 2016-17 season. The facility likely will be able to host 17 men&#39;s basketball and 10 women&#39;s games.</p><p>The arena could be a boon for a once-proud men&#39;s program that has struggled in recent years.</p><p>The Blue Demons are coming off their sixth straight losing season and haven&#39;t made the NCAA tournament since 2004. They are 30-64 and just 6-48 in Big East play in three years under Oliver Purnell.</p><p>But there was a time back when Ray Meyer was the coach and Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings were electrifying fans that the Blue Demans were the most popular basketball team in the city. That also was before Michael Jordan landed with the Bulls.</p><p>The DePaul men&#39;s team has played most of its games at Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill., since 1980, making it difficult for students and fans living and working in the city to attend. The small crowds and older arena probably weren&#39;t an easy sell for recruits, either.</p><p>Many fans were hoping DePaul would build an arena on or near its main campus in the vibrant Lincoln Park neighborhood, but finding landing in a densely populated area was no small task. The school reportedly turned down an offer from Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to play at the United Center.</p><p>The new arena at McCormick Place would be near several major highways and be reachable by train from DePaul&#39;s campuses in the city.</p></p> Fri, 17 May 2013 15:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-renovate-navy-pier-build-arena-107251 Park & Pier: Photo of the Day - February 27, 2013 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2013-02/park-pier-photo-day-february-27-2013-105788 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/romeobanias/8512178499/in/pool-32855810@N00/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="402" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/POTD_ParkandPier.jpg" title="Park &amp; Pier (Flickr/Romeo Banias)" width="620" /></a></div></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 13:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2013-02/park-pier-photo-day-february-27-2013-105788