Chicago Riverview Amusement Park


Riverview Entrance by Family Tree Video ChcagoNearly everyone remembers a favorite amusement park from their youth but if you lived in Chicago before 1967, there’s a good chance Riverview was yours.

Promoted as “One of the Greatest Amusement Parks in the World”, Riverview had little competition, with rides and attractions spreading across 74 acres. Located on Chicago’s northside, Riverview was bordered on the south by Belmont Avenue, east by Western Avenue, north 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’.

Riverview History

Riverview Amusement Park ChicagoRiverview Amusement Park was owned by the Schmidts, a wealthy German family. The Schmidts originally opened the park in the late 1800’s as a sharpshooting range and picnic grounds. To attract more visitors the Schmidts decided to turn the land into an amusement park. In 1905 they bought 50 more acres and added a number of rides and attractions.

These included a dance pavilion, an animal farm and several rides such as the White Flyer Roller Coaster and the Double Wheel Ferris Wheel. They also staged recreations in the Marine Causeway such as the civil war naval battle of the Monitor and Merrimack. And in 1908 they brought in a beautiful, hand carved 70 horse carousel that become the highlight of the park.

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, ‘The Bobs’ 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. For those looking for a little less adventure, the ballroom offered jazz, German music and a roller rink.

Riverview by Family Tree Video ChicagoIn 1967 the Schmidt family and other investors decided to close Riverview. While most of the rides were scrapped, the beautiful hand carved carousel was restored and continues to operate at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Chicago Memories

Riverview is still a fond memory for many Chicago parents and grandparents alike. Just mention the name or ask if they remember ‘The Bobs’ and you’re guaranteed to get a smile and a story.

Riverview pass Front Family Tree Video


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Riverview Amusement Park

 

7 thoughts on “Chicago Riverview Amusement Park”

  1. 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.

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  2. Hello,

    What was the name of the ride that had multi-layers and looked like a triple decker go cart ride ? My friends and I are trying to figure it out.

    Thank you,

    Terese

    Reply

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