Navy Pier is a 3300 ft (1010m) long pier on Lake Michigan. It was built in 1916 as a combined cargo facility for freighters and warehouses. The pier also proved popular as a gathering place for people during the 1950's.
During WWII, the pier was leased to the US Navy where two ships were based as a trainee base. Future President, George H.W. Bush Sr. was a trainee here.
After the War, the Pierwas used by the University of Illinois to train returning veterans until 1965, when the University moved, and the pier became run down and an eyesore. However, in 1976 the Pier reopened with music and art events in an attempt to regain it's public popularity of the 1950's, which it has held to this day. It is now home to an amusement park, various exhibition halls, shops and restaurants. There are plans to also add a rollercoaster, monorail, floating hotel and a water park in the next few years.