(Above) Chicago Riverwalk under construction west of LaSalle Street Bridge on October 11, 2016. Photo by Steven Dahlman. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
Former steel mill robs Riverwalk of gold medal in national design competition.
25-Jul-17 Where will the Chicago Riverwalk put all its awards? Structural Engineers Association of Illinois has given excellence in structural engineering awards to the Riverwalk and its neighbor, River Point, the 52-story commercial office building completed in May.
Judges called the $108 million, 1.25-mile Riverwalk, connecting Lake Street in the Loop to the lakefront, a great reclamation of a long-ignored urban resource.
Alfred Benesch & Company was recognized as the engineering firm behind the Riverwalk.
Engineers famously reversed the Chicago River over a century ago, said the judges. Now, theyve shown they still have the power to shape it to serve citizens better.
River Point won in a category for projects that cost more than $150 million. Judges called it an impressive wielding of structural engineering prowess to tackle significant site constraints, yielding an elegant structural and architectural design.
(Left) River Point, photographed on September 16, 2016, by Joaquim Alves Gaspar.
They noted that Magnusson Klemencic Associates created a new downtown landmark on a site that had scared off developers for decades.
Judges represented academia and fields such as architecture, engineering, construction, government, and media. Winners were announced at an awards banquet in June.
|(Right) SEAOI past president Salvatore DiBernardo (right) with representatives of Alfred Benesch & Company, James Nutter (left) and Matthew Hellenthal (center). Photo by Andrew Breen/SEAOI.
On June 13, the Riverwalk won the top award given annually by Friends of the Chicago River. Two days later, it won a silver medal and $10,000 from The Bruner Foundation, a nonprofit in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Riverwalk was one of five finalists for this years Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, a national design award. It lost the gold medal and $50,000 to SteelStacks Arts and Cultural Campus, a former steel mill turned into a mixed-use cultural and entertainment district in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.