Emanuel strengthens his case to have the Riverwalk named after him

Updated 5/15/2019 1:30 PM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has told associates that, if anything in Chicago is ever named after him, he would love it to be the Riverwalk, the embodiment of his vision to create a "second waterfront."

On Monday, the retiring mayor, perhaps inadvertently, strengthened his argument for a Rahm Emanuel Riverwalk.


With just one week to go before he leaves office, Emanuel proudly showcased a newly-transformed "Riverwalk East" from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive paid for with $12 million from Chicago taxpayers.

The investment includes: 10,000 square feet of recreational spaces; 94 new LED "dark sky compliant" light fixtures; three public restrooms; roughly 150 new tree plantings from 35 species and public seating for 500.

By 2020, the once-forgotten section of the Riverwalk will include Weather Station, a new piece of public art by the Chicago-based team Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and Bill Baker. A selection committee led by officials from two city departments -- Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Fleet and Facilities Management -- chose the work.

The 117-foot-tall Weather Station will have seven thin stainless-steel towers, each topped by a wind vane and anemometer (used to measure wind speed).

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