FAQ: The 606
What is The 606?
What will The 606 bring to Chicago?
Why is it called The 606?
Where is The 606?
Who is working on the project?
How much will The 606 cost and who will pay for it?
When will The 606 be complete?
The 606 takes Chicago’s legacy of great parks to new heights. This Northwest side project is transforming nearly three miles of unused rail line into the elevated Bloomingdale Trail, which will be linked to five ground-level neighborhood parks. When complete, it will also feature an observatory, skate park, various art installations, educational programming and other amenities. The park and trail system is named for the 606 zip code prefix all Chicagoans share. Set above city streets, it will serve as both an urban oasis and a new way to explore Chicago on trails for biking, running and strolling. The 606 also connects parks, people, and communities; what once physically separated four neighborhoods now will knit them together and attract visitors from throughout Chicago and beyond. It is yet another Chicago icon that brings together innovative urban planning, green space, and the arts. The 606 will change the way you see our city.
Building on the City’s legacy for innovative parks, The 606 is the latest in Chicago’s long line of world-class public spaces. It will provide nearly three miles of much-needed open green space, and link four diverse city neighborhoods with the elevated trail and five neighborhood parks. The 606 will also bring economic development, public health, safety, environmental, and transportation benefits to our community. Recognizing the value of increasing access to open spaces, Mayor Emanuel has called for the creation of 800 new parks, recreation areas and green spaces throughout Chicago over the next five years—and The 606 is one of his plan’s signature projects.
The project is named for the 606 zip code prefix all Chicagoans share, reflecting the park and trail system’s role as a community connector. The 606 name also evokes a connection to the site’s transportation history, a play on the tradition of using numbers to name rail lines, highways and other transportation corridors.
This park and trail system runs along Bloomingdale Ave (1800 N), from Ridgeway Ave (3750 W) on the west to Ashland Ave (1600 W) on the east. The project connects four ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square. More than 80,000 families, including almost 25,000 children, live within a ten-minute walk of The 606, as currently planned.
The Trust for Public Land is supporting the planning and implementation process, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and City of Chicago. The Trust for Public Land is the nation’s leading organization focused on creating parks and preserving land, especially urban park space, and oversees civic engagement, fundraising and stewardship of The 606. As a member of the agency team steering this project, The Trust for Public Land assisted with land acquisition for the 606 and is building the park at Milwaukee/Leavitt with funding from MetLife and The Stenning Conservancy. The completed project will be funded through a mix of federal, state and local funding, as well as private and corporate philanthropy.
Preliminary estimates put the total cost at $91 million. The team has already raised $46 million towards completion of the project, including $43 million in public funds and $7 million in private donations. The 606’s unique plan presents significant, creative donor recognition opportunities, and charitable gifts of all sizes will fund at least one-third of total project costs.
Mayor Emanuel pledged to open of The 606 within his first term, and the first phase of project is on track for completion by fall of 2014. Groundbreaking is expected in summer 2013.