Charter One Pavilion At Northerly Island Seating Plan
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Charter One Pavilion At Northerly Island
Charter One Pavilion - the name arouses mixed thoughts and feelings in the minds and hearts of the Chicagoans. For some, it spells out the treachery and sidestepping of the law by the Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley; while for the others it connotes a place of recreation - an outdoor concert hall at the southern end of the Northerly Islands, Chicago.
Previously known as the "Lakefront Pavilion", the structure is situated on the grounds of the former Meigs Field general aviation airport. Cuddled between Lake Michigan and the magnificent Chicago skyline, Charter One Pavilion is a provisional structure that is assembled each spring and disassembled each fall.
More popularly known as the "venue with a view", construction of the hall commenced in 2005 and the venue can house up to 7500 patrons. The concert hall is transient as a result of a contract between the city of Chicago and Mayor Richard M. Daley to maintain the Island as a nature preserve and park.
Charter One Pavilion enjoys a most controversial history. The Northerly Islands were home to the Meigs Field general aviation airport form 1948 up to 2003 - a single-strip airport that allowed numerous VIPs, including celebrities and political figures, to easily maintain security without inconveniencing the Chicago traffic.
However, year 2003 witnessed the destruction of this private airport at the direction of Mayor Daley. Huge crosses were bulldozed into the runaway in the middle of the night, rendering the runaway useless and leaving the sixteen planes that were still parked there at the time, stranded.
The planes had to leave using the 30 foot taxi way. Neither had Mayor Daley given any notice to the Federal Aviation Administration nor did he tell anyone about the sixteen planes that were still parked there at that time.
Several talks between the City of Chicago, the state legislature, and several aviation-interest groups followed. The end result was an agreement that the airport would remain open until 2026. However, the contract failed to gain federal support - the U.S. Senate did not pass the contract.
Daley defended his speckled actions on the grounds of "safety concerns" due to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. Most Chicagoans view the scandal as the Mayor"s way of steering clear of the legal challenges or negotiations and still getting his fill.
The courts eventually ruled that, despite his methods, the mayor was allowed to close the field, and the FAA fined the city for closing the airport without the proper notice.
Right after this controversy, Mayor Daley struck the contract with the city of Chicago to maintain the Island as a nature preserve and park. Following this contract, Mayor Daley announced the construction of a concert venue at the Northerly Islands, sparking even more controversy.
However, due to the contract with the city, the venue has to be erected as a temporary structure. It is hence assembled each spring and disassembled for the fall season since the Island is home to the migratory birds in spring and autumn and has to be restored to its natural state.
The Charter One Pavilion is centrally located on four and a half acres of Chicago's Museum Campus on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was designed by Valerio Dewalt Train's VDTA with an approximate cost of $1.7 million or $200,000 per week.
The Charter One Bank is the pavilion"s main sponsor, contributing $ 2.5 million in June 2005. It is leased for a three to five year contract between the Chicago Parks District and concert promoter Clear Channel Entertainment. The proceeds from the pavilion are set aside with the purpose of raising enough money to fully renovate the island and turn it into beautiful parkland.
The structure was so designed that the site itself was enhanced with landscaping, street furniture and street lights. The design experts worked with existing landforms, but manipulated them to create great sight lines, skyline views and a surprisingly intimate setting.
Views of Lake Michigan, Soldier Field, the Adler Planetarium, the sunset and the skyline in the background, come together with the design to make the pavilion a place of distinction.
The objective of the design was to create a temporary structure but one that would leave the natural beauty of the place unaltered i.e. planning for outstanding sight lines. The entire infrastructure necessary for the venue, such power, water and other utilities, had to be put into place by the construction and design teams.
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