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July 18, 2014

$20-Million Naming Gift Aids Navy Pier Makeover in Chicago

The family behind storied Chicago retailer Polk Bros. has donated $20-million to fund a major upgrade at the city's Navy Pier entertainment complex, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times report.

The five-year gift through the Polk Bros. Foundation will support work at Gateway Park, a 13-acre green space at Navy Pier's front entrance that will be renamed Polk Bros. Park. The family name will also adorn performance lawns with views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, a promenade, and a 250-jet fountain that will become an ice rink in winter.

The last Polk Bros. furniture and appliance store closed in 1992, 57 years after the chain was founded by the son of Romanian immigrants. The gift contributes to a $115-million renovation of Navy Pier slated to be finished in time for its 100th anniversary in 2016.