Captain on the Helm

Captain on the Helm, 2000
Michael Martino
Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue, south side of the main entrance

In 1909, as part of the “Master Plan of Chicago,” Daniel Burnham envisioned five piers reaching into Lake Michigan. However, only one was completed. Municipal Pier took two years to build and cost $4.5 million. Used for years for shipping business and for Army and Navy housing and training during both World Wars, the name officially changed in 1927 as a tribute to Navy personnel who served during World War I.
         Today, Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s top tourist destinations. Greeting visitors is this bronze sculpture of a captain on a Great Lakes vessel. He stands on a pitched deck of granite. Commissioned by the Chicago Lodge of Shipmasters International, it was dedicated in 2000 as a gift of value to their home port: “To those courageous mariners who guided their ships through perilous waters, carrying cargo and people. Their contributions have been so much a part of our history. May they never be forgotten.”

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