Chicago's Navy Pier organization wants to cut down the trees and put 'em in a tree museum:
Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens could be removed and replaced with what’s billed as “the next generation in immersive entertainment” — but a petition to save it has racked up more than 15,000 signatures.
Crystal Gardens is a 1-acre indoor garden that is free and accessible to the public. It’s often used as a venue for events or for people to stop by and escape chilly weather.
But a new attraction is set to take its place: Illuminarium, which uses projected images, sound, scents and vibrations to give paying visitors the sense they are in different places, like Africa. The change has already been approved by the city.
“Illuminarium promises to be an exciting experience center that will enhance Navy Pier’s visitation and educational strengths,” said spokeswoman Madeline Sweeney.
Sweeney said Navy Pier has developed free green space at other spots on the pier — including at the 15-acre Polk Bros Park — but Crystal Gardens is “underused” and the nonprofit must develop attractions to help businesses there.
“We understand that some guests may have an attachment to Crystal Gardens and appreciate their concern,” Sweeney said.
We appreciate Sweeney's insincerity. And, let's face it, I wouldn't send a tourist to Navy Pier unless the rest of the city had disappeared into a space-time rift. But this makes the space-time rift that much more appealing.