Tribune posts classic Riverview photos

Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009 10:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Riverview Park opened in 1904 at Western and Belmont Avenues on the Northwest Side. It became an iconic summertime destination that captured the imagination of young and old for more than six decades. There was much civic angst when the park was bought by a developer and closed at the end of the summer season in 1967.

See the photos from The Tribune via The Orlando Sentinel.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009 1:56 PM
Olsor's avatar

Always great to see people wearing suits and dresses to an amusement park.

I love old pictures of Riverview. Amazing to believe that place existed where it did.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 2:07 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Looks like a great park. Why did it get shut down?

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

[Read the photo captions.]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 6:50 PM

Photo #9 looks almost gravity defying. ;)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 6:54 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

Very cool photo album. I love old pictures. I love pictures of amusement parks. I really love pictures of old amusement parks.

Makes me wonder what would have happened if that park was still around. I doubt it would have retained the charm you see in those photos, unfortunately.

EDIT: Just found some video of that flying car ride.

All I have to say is...HOLY CRAP!!

Last edited by Kick The Sky, Wednesday, September 2, 2009 6:57 PM

Certain victory.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 7:55 PM

Check out the canoodling on Picture #4.
Great pics though. That park had some interesting rides.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 8:36 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

See that? Now who wouldn't want to preserve that kind of ride experience?

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:52 PM
James Whitmore's avatar

I find it strange that the park, while profitable, was closed "primarily because of the unprecedented leap in juvenile delin-punksy this past season" I don't understand the mentality that causes statements like "it was a tinder-box nightly, with violence lurking behind the rollercoaster fun".

Indian Lake Playland in Russells Point, Ohio had problems with annual 4th of July riots breaking our in the area which caused destruction and the bad PR from it ran the guests off. The park finally closed in 1975.

What's up with the violence? Why at the parks? Why in public places? Blame it on the '60s? I just don't get it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:08 AM

Because in the 60s parks were a very cheap place to hang out in before POP became popular. Teens hardly had to spend a dime, so they could loiter for hours. With no admission gate, racial tension, I'm sure some substance abuse on and off the premises, and probably minimal security, it was easy pickings for people who wanted to start trouble, fight, or commit crime.

I know in the late 60's and early 70's, places like Hershey, Dorney and even Rocky Springs had problems with violence and crime. Things were so bad in Hershey, I know my elementary school stopped having trips and picnics there. We probably weren't the only ones.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:12 AM

And, it's still happening today. SFOG and Lake Winnie were in the news recently for their problems. Any place where multitudes of general public meet is vulnerable.

Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:36 AM
LostKause's avatar

Those were some awesome photos. It got pretty sad near the end. I hate to see dilapidated amusement parks. :(

That Flying Car ride looks crazy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009 6:40 AM

I loved seeing those couples (or as in #28... well, lucky Ken) from the 50's and 60's, all dressed up for a date at the park, and it's nice most of them were identified. I have a greeting card with a similar picture of 2 couples on the Water Bug, and it's really a great shot, probably out of the same batch.

I guess we have the Disneys and the Six Flags of the world to thank for bringing the American amusement park back to a favorable light. While parks like Riverview and Euclid Beach struggled (as the photo shoot proves) to keep their "nice place" images, the racial tension of the day took it's toll on urban parks. While not always given as a reason for the closure, it's clear now that owners cashed in on valuable property that had become an unsavory liability. Too bad for folks like us.

When I was a boy we lived in a totally white west side suburb of Cleveland. My family never went to Euclid Beach, but my buddy would drag me along (thank god) for his dad's annual company picnic. I remember his dad spending time to assure my dad that they would keep a close watch on the boys, and everything would be perfectly safe. Then, on the way we would get "the talk", reminding us about the people of different color that would surely be in attendance, too.

Thank goodness that places like Kennywood, Elitch, Hershey, Cedar Point, and a handful of others held out for better times ahead.

Flying Cars- the story goes that they were removed after a girl fell to her death. She apparently still had her foot on the brake when the ride stopped, leaving her car in the upside down position. Dizzy and disoriented, and with no point of reference inside the drum, she unfastened her belt and fell. Can you imagine a ride like that today, and the kind of safety devices it would require?

Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:29 AM

OK, I looked at all the photos as well, but one is lead to believe that the Flying Cars goes upside down. That is the way the photo just 'appears' correct?

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:19 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Uh, read through some of the previous posts....

Great photos. Yah, without POP, the crowds can get interesting. I was at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk a couple weekends ago and as the afternoon wore on, more and more prison tattoos were to be seen. But that being said, the crowd was mellow, and as far back as I can remember, Santa Cruz was always like that.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Thursday, September 3, 2009 3:31 PM

SVLFever- yes, they sure did go upside down, and I believe that photo was taken looking up. Watch the vid. The big drum turned, and the cars rocked back and forth. The cars had a brake in 'em that the rider could press causing the car to "grab" the little track and send it looping around with the drum.

Friday, September 4, 2009 9:58 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

Great photos! I thought the "ending" was appropriate, but depressing. The photos pretty much told the whole story of the park.


Friday, September 4, 2009 10:22 AM
rollergator's avatar

Clearly we lost a true gem in Riverview. GAm is one of the best mega-parks going, but there will never be another Riverview (or Palisades). It is nice to have a chance to see rides that we had maybe had only heard about previously...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)


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