Last night, September 19th, Between States, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s new exhibit, featuring 50 designers’ ideas for ‘rejuvenating physical assets in Chicago’s 50 wards,’ had its grand opening party. This ambitious exhibit, curated by Martin Felsen and Sarah Dunn of UrbanLab, features Epstein’s design of the Riverview Bridge for Ward 47.
Between States asks designers to identify an underappreciated, underperforming or dilapidated physical asset in one of Chicago’s 50 wards, and imagine a process of transitioning it “between states”: from a physical liability to a rejuvenated civic anchor, from an aging structure or inactive facility to an economic catalyst embedded with visible public benefits. This exhibition also narrows the focus to the roles architecture and infrastructure play in shaping human life, and is conceived as the latest installment in CAF’s multi-year initiative, 50 Designers/50 Wards, which explores how innovative design can create a better future for all of Chicago’s residents.
‘Between States’ will run from September 19-January 7, 2018 and is located in the CAF’s Atrium Gallery at 224 S. Michigan Ave.
About Riverview Bridge
The Riverview Bridge (formerly the Addison Underbridge Connection of the North Branch Riverfront Trail) completes a critical link in the off-arterial trail spanning from the city core on the south to the extensive set of northern trails that extend to the Botanic Gardens, Ft. Sheridan and points north. By running below Addison Street and running off-street to a new bridge over the river to California Park a nearly contiguous 2-mile long recreational trail is created between Clark Park at Belmont Avenue and Horner Park at Montrose. With a safe and secure connection between Horner, California and Clark Parks, the parks themselves are enhanced nominally creating a single from the set. Providing a multipurpose bridge over the river is the key to the singular character of this trail segment and promises to reintroduce the river to thousands of Chicago residents.
Epstein’s design strategy for Riverview Bridge involved the unconventional solution of disengaging the Path from the Riverbank and elevating the entire structure above the water level. This solution elevates the trail on piers, and locates it within the River, providing for a sustainable solution which preserves the maximum amount of vegetation, and riverbank stability, while minimizing scouring and erosion.
Riverview is scheduled to begin construction later this fall.