MUSEUM CAMPUS — Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled ambitious plans for the future of Chicago’s Museum Campus Thursday, including pedestrian bridges, an ice rink and more studies about a possible roof over Soldier Field.
The newly-released report, outlining 35 recommendations to make the area a “place where the world connects,” comes as the Chicago Bears weigh leaving the city and heading to the northwest suburbs. The report, while heavy on suggesting amenities surrounding the stadium, fails to address some of the team’s needs, including more seats, parking and control of revenue.
Adding a roof or dome to the lakefront stadium could cost up to $1.5 billion, Crain’s reported, citing sources.
Chicago’s Museum Campus includes the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place. It also includes important natural and recreational areas including the 12th Street Beach, Northerly Island Park and the Lakefront Trail.
Major recommendations include:
- Upgrades to Soldier Field including reconfiguring but not adding seating, studying a potential roof and adding amenities for year-round use of the site. None of the renderings released Thursday show a dome over the stadium, which was last overhauled in 2002.
- Exploring naming rights sponsorships at Soldier Field while keeping the name that honors its legacy as a war memorial
- Add a seasonal ice rink and winter weather activity rentals
- Restore Northerly Island as an ecological oasis
- Relocate Huntington Bank Pavilion to a spot just north of Soldier Field
- Reinstate a free or low-cost shuttle from various public transit stops to the museum campus
- Add two pedestrian bridges over the harbor to increase accessibility to Northerly Island
- Adding free or low-cost trolley service to “enhance connections between the Museum Campus to Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station, Roosevelt Station and other key downtown locations.”
Implementation for each of these recommendations varies from short-term (within a year), medium-term (within 2 to 5 years), and long-term (more than five years), according to the report.
To read the full report click here.
Here are some renderings of the proposed changes to the campus:
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