Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Interpretive Digital Essay : The Plan of Chicago
The Plan of Chicago
Chicago in 1909
Planning Before the Plan
Antecedents and Inspirations
The City the Planners Saw
The Plan of Chicago
The Plan Comes Together
Creating the Plan
Reading the Plan
A Living Document
Two Level Riverfront Drives
Return to "Implementation Map "

Plan of Chicago, Plate CVII

The Plan proposed improving the appearance and the functionality of the riverfront in the heart of the city by building multi-level roads along its banks. This improvement was suggested by the example of Paris, among other cities.

South Water Street market, West from Dearborn

One of the planners' main goals for the riverfront was to move the congested South Water Street wholesale market, which was located just south of the Main Branch of the Chicago River, away from the downtown.

Wacker Drive, 2004


The view is southwest from the Michigan Avenue Bridge. The construction of Wacker Drive in the 1920s removed the South Water Street market area and created a handsome upper-level riverfront boulevard, a lower-level roadway for commercial and through traffic, and a recreational walkway along the river.