Chicago Landmarks

Michigan Avenue Bridge and Esplanade

Aerial view     Address: Chicago River, between Michigan and Wabash
Year Built: Bridge and Bridge House, 1920; Esplanade, 1926
Architect: Edward H. Bennett , Pihlfeldt & Young
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: October 2, 1991

View north from southeast pylon Southeast pylon Conceived as part of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago, the bridge and upper-level Wacker Drive were designed to improve transportation and to enhance Chicago's riverfront. The completion of the bridge, followed by the Wacker Drive esplanade (1926) and the monumental sculptures (1928), provided an impressive gateway to North Michigan Avenue and led to its development as one of the city's premier thoroughfares.