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River City -Marina City's Little Sister, Bertrand Goldberg

Posted by Pudleaux Tourism: Digital Chicago Visitors Guide on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 PM

River City is an S-shaped apartment complex born of the same architect of the better known Marina City, Bertrand Goldberg. The idea, as in with that of Marina City, was to build a city within a city where one would have all of the necessary living amenities right at one's doorstep. Initial plans were to have a complex even larger than that of Marina, with three interconnected buildings linked by skybridges and topping out at 72 stories (the Marina Towers are both 64 stories). Goldberg began planning River City in 1968, though the intended scale was never realized due to political pressures concerning population density and zoning restrictions. River City came to life in the form of an S-shaped complex along the South branch of the Chicago River approaching Chinatown. River City and Marina City both share similarities in form and material, curvy concrete, though the Marina Towers are much taller and River City is more sprawling. Finally completed in 1986, the building complex has that 1960's retro feel seen in the Marina City complex despite being built nearly 20 years after the corncobs. When approaching River City by boat along the Chicago River, one cannot help but stare and analyze this interesting structure. For me, my mind drifts to Planet of the Apes -it has a retro-futuristic expression that asks the question 'is this the future that our past generation of architects envisioned"?


Categories: River City, Bertrand Goldberg, Modern Architecture

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