New York City’s High Line park has received almost nothing but rave reviews since it opened to the public in June 2009. Aside from the few negative comments, the park has proved a popular weekend hangout spot among locals and tourists alike, and now cities around the country are looking to mimic its success.
Chicago may be the next city to get its High Line, Alan G. Brake reports in The Architect’s Newspaper. Inspired by New York’s above-ground sanctuary, Chicago officials are proposing to turn the elevated rail line known as the Bloomingdale Trail into a public space, much like the High Line, but with a few twists of its own. Brake describes the park’s proposed layout:
The three mile embankment, twice the length of New York’s High Line, will feature five access points from adjacent pocket parks, as well as eight access points from intersecting streets. The trail winds through Chicago’s Logan Square, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, and Bucktown neighborhoods.
As often accompanies proposed changes, residents have expressed concerns about privacy and security, Brake says. But the project’s planning team, made up of Arup, Ross Barney Architects, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is working to allay those fears. “Where a house has a window overlooking the trail, the planning framework will call to the path to curve away from the house toward the opposite side of the trail (which is approximately 30 feet wide at it’s [SIC] narrowest points),” Brake writes.
The project, which will be funded largely through federal transportation funds, aims to create new green space in the city as well as provide visitors with unique views of Chicago architecture. Tentatively scheduled to open in 2014, Chicagoans will have to wait a few years still to see if it lives up to the High Line hype.
Read Alan G. Brake’s full description of plans for the Bloomingdale Trail park.