My memories of Riverview Park in Chicago, even though I never went there.

The Flying Turns at Riverview Park. Photo taken in the 1950’s
Riverview Park of Chicago Revisited. Music by Les Baxter. Merry Go Round music by Roller Coster Tycoon. Roller Coaster(closing theme to What’s My Line? and the instrumental version of Love, Roller Coaster by The Ohio Players. Most of the photos are from Derek Gee/Sharpshooters Productions for photos from their book, “Laugh Your Troubles Away – The Complete History of Riverview Park. Other photos are from the internet.

Hello everyone. Today I am writing my second story and it’s about Riverview Park in Chicago. if you are wondering why I am writing about a place that I never visited, I will explain here. Riverview Park opened in July 1904 and became one of the biggest amusement ever built at that time. It closed in 1967. I never visited the park since I was three years old when it closed. As I was growing up, I heard stories from several people older than me that told me about Riverview. They told me about The Bobs, Jetstream, Fireball, Comet, Silver Flash and other roller coasters. Other rides and attractions were The Tunnel of Love, Aladdin’s Castle, The Ferris Wheel, Flying Turns, Shoot The Chutes, and others. In 1983, I enrolled at DeVry Institute of Technology where Riverview Park was located. I was too busy studying and attending school that I didn’t give Riverview a second thought. Someday I would like to go for a visit at DeVry, which the original building had been torn down and it was rebuilt at other places in the area. There is a shopping center, a police station and other business establishments there now. There is a sculpture entitled Riverview by local artist Jerry Peart stands in front of the police station. I have been posting photos of Riverview Park on my Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page for a long time. The responses and likes of the photos have been astonishingly popular. I created a video about Riverview Park in April 2019. I gathered most of the photos online, read some books for references, and put it together. My video was featured on WGN Morning News on April 19 by Marcus Leshock, who is a huge roller coaster fan. I was very appreciative to him that he showed it on the air. That was one of my proudest moments in my life. I will continue to post photos of Riverview Park on Facebook, Twitter and my other social platforms. I wish I went there. I missed out a wonderful place that made an impact to everyone in Chicago. Thank you. Pete Kastanes-Admin of Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

7 thoughts on “My memories of Riverview Park in Chicago, even though I never went there.

  1. thank you for these pictures of Riverview. My family and relatives have spend many summers at Riverview Park. we spent the day there. We usually went around Father’s day or close to the 4th of July. My parents and aunts and uncles used to go to Riverview before they were married, for dates. They used to dance under the stars to a band that played on Saturday nights. By the time the kids came along, late 50’s, early 60’s, the bands stopped playing. But, we saw the gazebo were they played. My family was disappointed when they closed Riverview permanently..

  2. Many thanks for all the great memories of Riverview. I first went there as a child with my family probably in the early fifties. Certainly fonder memories are from the late sixties when I went with my boyfriend now husband in the sixties. He had worked there while in high school and was anxious to show me around the park. And of course win me a teddy bear or two. Many a date night…and of course the Tunnel of Love. We were married in 1965 and only wish the park was still there when we had children. Certainly not like the amusement parks of today.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I have vivid memories of Riverview. Started going in the mid-1950s with my family. Dad loved roller coasters and so did I (my mom and sister were “barfers” and only enjoyed the Chutes and Waterbug), so the two of us spent plenty of scream time on the Flying Turns, the Bobs, the Fireball and others. Fantastic memories of this. I’ve tried to describe Riverview to my husband, who grew up in California, but I can never assemble an adequate list of adjectives. Except for one: unforgettable!

  4. What a wonderful activity for a Saturday night date. Celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in 1967, hubby and I laughed our troubles away along with another couple of friends. I also remember going there with girlfriends in 1955. We were all about 10 yrs old and rode the bus from nr 79th & Ashland all the way to the North side. It took forever; that is, at least two buses. Ahh, the good old safe days and such pleasant memories. Thank you.

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