Goodbye Bloomingdale Trail hello The 606


The whispers and speculations about changing the name of the Bloomingdale Trail were true. So erase Bloomingdale Trail from your notes and contact lists and enter "The 606," as in the City's zip code. 

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forcing everyone a few months ago to say that construction along the 2.7 mile former railroad bed would start in June, the statement now is that it will begin this summer. While the project's name is changed (sort of), the location is the same. Construction is along Bloomingdale Ave., from Ridgeway Ave. (3750 W) on the west to Ashland Ave. (1600 W) on the east, with the eastern edge eventually being the Chicago River. It is part of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square and Humboldt Park. And, in fall of 2014 the first phase is to open. 


Why is it to be called The 606? According to the material just released:

"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." 


Rendering shows the bridge at Milwaukee and Leavitt

According to the announcement, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) developed the name following an interactive process with stakeholder groups. Statements on WTTW, however, say that Matt Gordon, a professional "namer" came up with it. Gordon is the director of naming and writing for brand consultant Landor Associates.

TPL's Beth White indicates that the re-branding has a foot-hold in fundraising issues. However, part of the new communications indicate that The 606 is to include the Bloomingdale Trail and the 5 neighborhood parks. "The 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," says the official announcement. 


Over Western Ave., this bridge will be what is at Ashland Ave.

The new logo has been described by Jennifer Harrell, owner of Wyville USA, who designed the image, as "a connector of people, communities and ideas, and a connection back to the city."

New renderings show what the bridges at Western as well as Leavitt and Milwaukee are to look like. Note that the Western bridge will actually be moved from Ashland Ave. 


Depiction of an area overlooking Humboldt Blvd.

It has also been announced that The 606 will include an observatory designed by the Adler Planetarium. 

Funding sources for this project which is to total $91 million are coming from, the City, State, Federal and private sources.

The unveiling of the final plans are to be presented Tues., June 18, at The McCormick Tribune YMCA, 1834 N. Lawndale (at Cortland) from 6 to 8 p.m. Limited parking in the Y's lot and on local streets has caused the organizers to encourage people to walk, bike or take public transportation. 

At Leavitt and Milwaukee, the new entry Park 567 is already under-construction.

A follow-up is in the works for this story of much of what was presented at the YMCA on Tues. June 8.

*Renderings courtesy of the Chicago Park District and Trust for the Public Land

Editor's note: Does anyone else hear the theme from Route 66 playing in the background?



606 over Bloomingdale

The new name is PERFECT. Just hearing and seeing it have turned my interest in the project around completely. It gives me great confidence in the final result. High Line watch out. The new standard is being built. The 606.

Bloomingdale Trail

I don't know why all these marketing people from out of state and people with no notion of history feel it necessary to take away more of it. Oh wait, its about more money for them and their scams. Leave it as is and leave chicago's history in place.

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