Ross Barney Architects led a multi-disciplinary team in developing the framework plan for the Bloomingdale Trail (renamed “The 606”), a 2.7 mile long park converted from an elevated railroad right-of-way.
The park, literally and metaphorically, bridges neighborhoods separated by trafﬁcked streets. Originally built to protect people from trains, the 606 provides safe passage for residents of neighborhoods with little open space, connecting existing, but isolated, parks.
The framework plan satisﬁed competing goals. In its narrow right-of-way, the trail: provides a path for bicyclists and places for contemplation; preserves existing public art and provides opportunities for new installations; and opens a hidden space to the public while protecting the privacy of nearby residents.
More than 650 community members attended public meetings. During a four-day charrette the design team reﬂected and built upon the public’s desires, developing a shared vision. That vision has transformed unused infrastructure into a valued social space.