Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is bursting with things to see and do — a trip there for a fun summer afternoon is a must. And every Wednesday and Saturday from now until Sept. 4, the sky over Lake Michigan will light up with fantastic fireworks launched from the pier. Though the displays will be visible from many points around the city, residents of NEMA Chicago can see the shows right from their own home. Keep reading to learn a bit about the history of the Navy Pier and to discover the best places from which to enjoy these celebratory summer displays!
Opened in 1916, the Navy Pier spent the first decade of its existence as the Municipal Pier, serving as both a functioning dock for freight and passenger ships as well as a venue for all manner of social events. After World War I, it was renamed in honor of Navy veterans, a prescient decision given the transformation it underwent once the United States declared war on Japan and Germany in 1941. Once World War II broke out, the Navy Pier became a training center for the U.S. Navy, eventually hosting as many as 10,000 people who worked there during the height of the war. The Navy Pier became a vast classroom space for the University of Illinois at Chicago after the war ended, and eventually fell into disrepair once that institution outgrew its bounds.
Beginning in 2006, the Navy Pier came back to life thanks to the efforts of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which spent the next decade crafting a new vision for the historic pier as part amusement park, part public promenade. After 10 years of hard work, the Navy Pier opened to the public for the first time in decades with a host of rides, exhibition spaces, and a botanical garden. As part of this reopening, the Navy Pier began its tradition of summer fireworks displays, which continued through last year’s COVID-19 lockdown and into this year.
While the twice-weekly displays can be enjoyed from around the Windy City, residents of the South Loop apartments at NEMA Chicago have a direct view of the fireworks right from their own building. Residents with north-facing homes can enjoy the displays from the comfort of their living rooms through their floor-to-ceiling windows. But all residents can take in the shows from the building’s spacious outdoor terrace, which overlooks Lake Michigan and the Navy Pier and features fire pits and heat lamps to keep everyone warm during the colder months.
So, don’t wait! Secure your home in the heart of the South Loop today — not to mention your intimate viewing space for the fireworks — by getting in touch with the NEMA Chicago team and scheduling a virtual tour.