When Russ Hencinski looks out of his classroom window at Lane Tech High School, the science and astronomy teacher sees a strip mall with a Jewel-Osco grocery store and other smaller shops. But in his mind's eye, Hencinski can conjure up an image of the location 45 years ago, when the same land in Chicago's North Center neighborhood was occupied by the legendary Riverview Amusement Park.
Read more and see video from The Chicago Tribune.
This video is really interesting... definitely worth the watch!
I've tried to get back there to find footings and stuff, but it's all fenced in with warnings now. And the police station is right there, too. It's really strange to go over there (whether you are going to the Toy's R Us, Jewel, court <doh!>, or even a parking lot carnival) and think that a jam packed old fashioned amusement park was there. It's pretty sad too. All the old Riverview stories from my grandparents and Mom. My grandma rode the Blue Streak (later became the wilder Fireball) the day she had my mother (I guess you could ride some rides pregnant back then.) Then years later I worked on the Blue Streak at CP :) Anyway, those stories are starting to fade more and more - people die off!
Actually no it isnt fenced off. I have actually been back there only about a month ago. Back in the way back end of what used to be the park is a little strip of forested area that is a park near the river. In that forested area there are remnants of the Tunnel of Love, Carousel, and possibly the Bobs.
If I remember to I will try to get the pics that I took that day posted here later tonight/tomorrow.
EDIT: Additional comment.
We really need Holodecks.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
^^Well, it was fenced off. For many years. Near the access road, anyway.
I'm not going on footer hunts anymore, I've done enough at other places. The work has been done, the videos are out. It's still sad to go there. I've heard the Belmont bridge on Western Avenue (built to handle Riverview traffic) is finally going to be removed. It's falling apart..
I have a lot of pictures of Detroit's Edgewater Park - and a lot of stories about it from my parents. I'd rather have a Time Machine than a Holodeck to visit these places :-)
The complete history of Riverview (Amusement) Park, Chicago, Illinois. Well over 100 photos, postcards and ads.
I'm old enough to have attended Riverview, but at the time I was too young to know where Chicago was let alone how to get there.
Much later in life while on a trip to Chicago I made the pilgrimage to Belmont and Western to see what I could see. Not much, but the walk along the river was pleasant and it was fun to imagine what the place was like full of rides and park visitors. As for forgotten foundations and such, I don't remember seeing much if any.
Thanks for the post, I love that stuff and looked at every picture.
It's easy to wish for a time machine to go back , but do we really want to revisit an era in amusement parks when the African Dip was one of the most popular attractions?
Thank you, Neil Gale, for posting your article! Fascinating. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and while long gone when I was born (1975,) it was recent enough for my parents to remember the park, so I always knew it had existed. I never really looked anything about it up until today though.
The "Flying cars" ride? Insane! I would (figuratively) kill to be able to ride that right now, despite the fact that I can almost guarantee it would make me barf.
And thanks RCMAC for giving me today's Google Fodder. Although I remember dunking my teachers, and our son has dunked his, I've never known about the "African Dip."
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