A plan to activate space under the Brown Line ‘L’ tracks with pedestrian pathways, landscaping, and other public amenities is looking to move forward in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Drawing inspiration from New York’s elevated High Line, Chicago’s so-called “Low-Line” linear park would create a half-mile-long continuous walkway and garden beneath the Brown Line between Southport Avenue and Paulina Street.
The creative concept first emerged back in 2011 as part of the Lakeview Area Master Plan from Special Service Area (SSA) No. 27 and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. Though some aspects of the plan such as the Low-Line Plaza—a dedicated space for a farmers market under the tracks—have been implemented, the next phase of the project is seeking public commentary before progressing.
The project team hopes to review the site’s current conditions, showcase the design of similar projects in other cities, and also listen to feedback from residents next week. A community meeting on Tuesday, March 28 starting at 6 P.M. will take place at the Lincoln Belmont Library at 1659 W. Melrose. Individuals looking to attend are encouraged to RSVP for the event here.
While 2011 conceptual renderings of the project were created by Chicago’s Moss Design (see below), the Lakeview Chamber has tapped PORT Urbanism to identify potential uses and shape the design of the Low-Line’s upcoming phases. Project funding is expected to come from the SSA 27 and other local, private contributors.
Lakeview’s Low-Line isn’t the only project in the works to reimagine spaces under Chicago’s network of elevated rail lines. An Uptown project dubbed the Underline aims to create a pedestrian connection and activated “people space” below the overhauled Wilson station. Meanwhile, a separate effort to light-up the ‘L’ tracks above Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s Loop with interactive color-changing LED tubes is in the testing and fundraising phase.
- Low-Line: A Vision to Connect and Beautify Lakeview [Lakeview Chamber of Commerce]
- Lakeview Area Master Plan to Be Revealed [Curbed Chicago]
- Lakeview archives [Curbed Chicago]