Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bloomingdale Trail Murals

Built in 1872, the Bloomingdale Ave rail track was initially laid at street level. As Chicago grew more congested, the city passed an ordinance requiring the railroads to elevate all rail tracks within the city and the Bloomingdale track was elevated between Ashland and Lawndale.

The track fell into disuse by trains in the 1990s but if you live on the west side you may well have seen the occasional runner, zipping along at roof-height. Although there are plans afoot to open up the three-mile track to the public, for now the trail remains private property, with just a few daring souls clambering through fences and up embankments to enjoy the views.

Luckily for the less nimble and more law abiding among us, there is plenty to enjoy at street level along the Bloomingdale trail, in a series of giant murals. The track bisects my street just a block south of where I live so we get to enjoy the local art every day.

It can be easy to get stuck in a dog walking rut, so, as weather allows, I plan on taking the pooches to explore all the murals in our area and snapping some photos. Billy has kindly agreed to model, though he clearly didn't get the memo that we were photographing the art today and not the gang tags so he put on his tough guy face.

It's fascinating what a variety of styles are found within just a block of each other.

I wonder what we'll discover as we venture further afield?


  1. Wow, that will be fun. We have the Highline here in NYC, an abandoned elevated traintrack which is now a public garden. I thought that was what you were going to say happened to this set of tracks - that it was turned into a garden. Nice pictures!

  2. Great photos - those murals are really cool ... and they look even better with such adorable dogs posing in front of them!

  3. That is pretty awesome- urban art really is one of the coolest things to come across when you're out and about.

  4. Such a cool post. I've always wondered what the deal with those tracks was!


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