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Riverview Amusement Park Film Resurfaces 50 Years After Iconic Spot Closed

By Justin Breen | March 22, 2017 4:57am

CHICAGO — Tony Lossano was born four years after Riverview Amusement Park closed, but he still loved the legendary Chicago site.

After a DNAinfo story noting that the park had been closed 50 years, Lossano — a Chicago TV and radio broadcast producer — remastered and republished an anniversary special he created about Riverview in 2004.

The video, which originally published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the former park's opening, contains interviews from former Riverview employees and historic photos of rides. It also notes that the former Riverview Carousel is still operating at Six Flags in Georgia today.

"I love stories about Chicago ... and Riverview had made so many people happy," Lossano said.

The park was open from 1904 to 1967, home to rides like Shoot the Chutes log flume, a roller coaster, the Roll-o-Plane tilt-a-whirl, the Strat-o-Stat and Pair-o-Chutes parachute drop.

According to Encyclopedia of Chicago: "Riverview, at Belmont and Western in North Center, was Chicago's largest and longest-running park. ... Riverview had the world's first suspended roller coaster (1908) and first parachute ride (1936). Most legendary, however, was the Bobs (1924), perhaps the greatest coaster ever built."

Riverview closed as many in the middle class moved to the suburbs.

Millions of Chicagoans and Midwestern tourists came to the park during its decades on the North Side. A shopping center called Riverview Plaza has occupied the former 74-acre site of the amusement park since the early 1980s, alongside DeVry University and Clark Park.