The City of Chicago's Official Site



Navy Pier Headhouse and Auditorium

Auditorium Exterior, 1976     Address: Grand Ave. and Streeter Dr. at Lake Michigan
Year Built: 1916 Headhouse and east end buildings
Architect: Charles S. Frost
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 14, 1977

Auditorium Interior, 1976 Navy Pier was inspired by the 1909 Plan for Chicago, which called for two large piers projecting into Lake Michigan. Built at a time when Chicago was a major inland port, "Municipal Pier No. 2" (the other pier was never built) was originally designed to accommodate shipping facilities. The structure's name was changed in 1927 to honor those who served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. Shipping declined in the 1930s and, during World War II, the pier was used for military training. From 1946 to 1965, the pier served as the Chicago campus for the University of Illinois. In 1992, the original sheds were torn down to make way for new recreational/convention uses, although the masonry structures located at either end of the pier were retained.

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