Gallery: Chicago’s Bloomingdale Rail Line to Be a Park in the Sky

Chicago, High line, park, abandoned rail line, trail park, chicago park, bloomingdale rail line, bloomingdale trail

New York has the High Line and San Francisco is going to get the Bay Line – both abandoned rail lines turned into public parks. Now Chicago is looking to do the same with the Bloomingdale Rail Line, a 3 mile section of elevated train track running east and west into the heart of downtown. Overseen by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, one of the design proposals out suggests turning the line into a 3 mile greenhouse and hydrogen generation facility, providing organic and local food for the community and creating a fuel source for Chicago schools.

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  1. bolivar13 November 4, 2009 at 9:53 am

    It’s a little hard to see what’s going to go on in the ross barney proposal but I like the theme and mission statement. It seems much more grounded in reality. Also, to correct the original article – this train line in no way goes downtown let alone into the “heart” of downtown. It’s well north of downtown and goes east-west.

  2. LisaB October 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    The Bloomingdale is indeed to become a park in the sky, but the Gensler/4240 proposal won’t be going foward, Ross Barney’s proposal will, though. Check it out here

  3. dr mobius October 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I didn’t mention I like the drawings and the space under the croquet hoops.

  4. dr mobius October 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Between this project and the vertical skyscraper farms, it’s increasingly clear that much of the green architecture movement has devolved into trendy fashion statements that are divorced from reality.

    An electrolysis-based hydrogenerator fueled by solar cells in Chicago? It’s solar exposure is quite weak. This idea takes half of the small amount of energy you can harness and immediately throws it away. As well-intentioned as it is-this is a stupid idea.

    While we’re at it, think about urban agriculture on a 3 mile long, 50 foot wide strip of land, floating 20 feet above the ground. Not the romantic idea of agriculture, but the actual practice of it (assume organic )including the soils, soil amendments, planting, netting, weeding, harvesting: all of these things. Hard enough with a central staging hub, with a circle of land around you. But this shape? With people biking and walking through it? Once again, quite stupid.

    I have an idea! How about using the solar power you get from the park for electricity, and using attractive native plants. Forget it . It’s actually been done before (because it is practical)

    This is a science fiction, frivolous proposal. If they’re going to go there, why not say that this park will triple as a anti-matter generator, the bottom of a space elevator, and the aquaculture center of the world.

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