Chicago Riverview Amusement Park

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riverview park chicago by family line videoNearly everyone can recall a favorite amusement park from their youth but if you lived in Chicago before 1967, there’s a good chance the Riverview Amusement Park was yours.

To this day, Riverview is still fondly remembered by many Chicago parents and grandparents alike. Touted as “One of the Greatest Amusement Parks in the World”, Riverview Park had little competition in the area, with rides and attractions spreading across 74 acres.

Riverview Expostion. Riverview Park, 1911. Chicago History. Riverview Amusement Park. Riverview Amusement Park, owned by a wealthy German family, the Schmidts, originally began as a sharpshooting range and picnic grounds in the late 1800’s. To draw more visitors, it was decided to turn the land into an amusement pak and starting in 1904, rides and attractions were added.

riverview-park-in-chicagoIn 1905, 50 new acres were added along with new attractions such as a dance pavilion, animal farm and several rides such as the White flyer Roller Coaster and Double Wheel Ferris Wheel. In 1908 they even staged a re-creation of the civil way naval battle of Monitor and Merrimac in the marine causeway. In 1908 a beautiful, hand carved, 70-horse carousel become the park highlight.

Located on Chicago’s northside, Riverview was bordered on the south by Belmont Avenue, east by Western Avenue, Riverview Amusement Park Chicagonorth by Lane Tech High School and on the west by the north branch of the Chicago River. Today this area is commonly known as ‘North Center’.

While visitors enjoyed a wide range of rides and attractions, the park became best known for ‘The Bobs’ – an 11 car roller coaster with an 85′ drop. Constructed in 1926 for $80,000, it carried 1,200 passengers per hour and drew some 700,000 riders each season.

Other popular rides included: The Comet, Silver Flash, Fireball, Jetstream, Shoot the Chutes, Hades, the Rotor, Tilt-a-Whirl, Wild Mouse, and The Tunnel of Love. Chicago Riverview Park For those looking for a little less adventure the ballroom, often filled with jazz and German music, and roller rink offered an evening of fun.

In 1967 the Schmidt family, along with other investors, decided to close Riverview Park. While most of the rides were scrapped, the beautiful hand carved carousel continues to operate at Six Flags Over Georgia. Despite it’s closing, Riverview Amusement Park continues to live on in the memories and stories of many Chicagoans.

Chicago Riverview Amusement ParkIf your parents or grandparents grew up in Chicago, be sure to ask them what they remember about Riverview Amusement Park. Without a doubt your question will elicit a flood of memories as they recall visiting Riverview in their youth.

Do you remember Riverview? Share your memories, knowledge of its history and photos in the comment section at the bottom of the page for others to enjoy!


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3 Responses to Chicago Riverview Amusement Park

  1. Ralph G. Wright June 4, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Caravan Carousel at Tokyo DisneySEA. It’s a double deckered piece of eye candy themed to characters and creatures from Aladdin. The ride is surrounded by its own show building whose theming and facade rivals some of the best dark rides out there. And it’s tucked in the corner of the courtyard that also includes the Magic Lamp Theatre, a middle-eastern inspired food court, and a beautifully decorated water fountain. The fountain is converted in summer time to the stage for the bonfire dance, which can be seen from the top deck of the carousel. This is truly a theme park experience worth much more than the sum of its parts.

  2. Robin Freed February 1, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    Didn’t they used to have a roller coaster that went sideways or was covered like a tube.

  3. Kathy September 3, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    Yes they did the Flying Turns !!

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