Why Life By the 606 in Chicago is Amazing
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already been eight years since the 606 trail opened. Built along an old train line, the 606—a namesake for Chicago’s zip code prefix— is a 2.7-mile trail and elevated park that runs east-west through some of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, including Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square and Humbolt Park.
Meander through well-maintained landscaping or rent a bike from one of the city’s bike-sharing Divvy stations. With lots of signage, it’s easy to navigate. There are plenty of access points (with ADA-accessible ramps) at major intersections. Walk, bike, or jog. Bring a dog or a stroller. Along the way, you’ll pass art installations, parks and places to stop and grab a bite to eat.
While it’s hard to measure the 606’s exact impact on surrounding property values, the trail did engender a land rush in the months and years before and after its opening. The average home price in the market areas surrounding the 606 (namely West Town, Humboldt Park and Logan Square) has appreciated 37.6% since the trail opened in 2015. That outpaces city-wide home price growth of 32.6%. Market times also tend to be about 1/4 to 1/3 lower in these neighborhoods compared to the overall average for Chicago. Here are some things you should know if you’re looking to explore or live near the 606.
Where the Trail Goes
The 606 runs between Ashland Avenue (1600 W) on the east and Ridgeway Avenue (3732 W) on the West. Its claim to fame: being the longest greenway project of a former elevated rail line in the Western Hemisphere—the second longest in the world after the Promenade Plantée in Paris.
Check out Public Art and Parks
One of the most striking pieces of public art is a 40-foot-long sculpture of colorful glass eyeballs called “Birds Watching,” located near the Kimball Avenue intersection.
Visit the Damen Arts Plaza (1775 N. Damen Ave.) with its sculpture garden or explore the kid-friendly Julia de Burgos Park (1805 N. Albany Ave.) which includes a red roped climbing wall and massive spider sculpture. The dog-friendly Walsh Park (1722 N. Ashland Ave.) includes a large playground that was renovated in 2019, basketball hoops and an athletic field.
See the stars
At the Ridgeway Western Trailhead, take a snail-like spiraling path up to the Exelon Observatory, a circular platform that’s perfect for stargazing.
Trail designers collaborated with Adler Planetarium astronomers to ensure lighting angles and tree placements offer great views of the sky. The 606’s lead artist, Frances Whitehead , sought inspiration from Peru’s pre-historic solar observatory, “Thirteen Towers at Chankillo.”
The cool factor: Three rectangular notches usually frame sunsets on the first day of a new season during summer and winter solstices, and the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes. Chicago astronomer, Joe Guzman aka “Astro Joe,” a retired Adler Planetarium Telescope and Observatory Facilitator, regularly hosts public observation sessions with telescopes.
Brews, Bites and Java
Stop by Ipsento 606, a Latin-infused coffeehouse-meets-cocktail bar, located where the trail crosses Milwaukee Avenue. Drink locally roasted, globally sourced coffee with handmade mini donuts, or grab a sandwich, cocktail or beer.
On the border of Humbolt Park and Logan Square, you’ll find Dayglow Coffee (1757 N. Kimball), a sleek, ultra-modern spot that sits alongside the 606. Grab a pour-over coffee, swanky cocktail and pastries.
Or go directly across the street to Ørkenoy, a Nordic-inspired brewpub that’s perfect for a drink or snack. Try one of the many small plates, cocktails, house-made beers brewed onsite and ciders. On Sundays, you’ll also find Butterheel Biscuits, a breakfast pop-up that’s open from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Find Your Home on the 606
With offices in Bucktown and Logan Square, @properties is your go-to source for buying or selling real estate near the 606. Here’s a selection of available homes as of late September 2023.
Sleek and sophisticated, this modern 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1,650-square-foot penthouse condo offers a versatile open floor plan with 15-foot ceilings, custom built-ins and a chef’s kitchen in West Bucktown. Other features include a quartz-tiled gas fireplace; spa-like primary bathroom with heated floors and a glass-enclosed steam shower; and three outdoor spaces: a balcony, dedicated garage roof deck, and roof rights above the unit.
This sun-filled 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo is an affordably priced option in Logan Square, just 2 blocks north of the 606. The charming residences has granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances, in-unit laundry, hardwood floors and a semi-private rear porch. It’s the perfect starter home or investment property.
This newer 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath single-family home offers a spacious, bright and open floor plan on a quiet tree-lined street in Humboldt Park. The large dine-in kitchen features an oversized quartz “waterfall” island with seating, stainless-steel appliances, and ample counter and cabinet spaces. There’s plenty of room to entertain with large living areas on the main level and lower level. Generously sized bedrooms, including three upstairs and one on the lower level, offer space for a growing family or guests.
Located just steps from the 606 Trail in Bucktown, this single-family home offers an A+ location and luxury finishes throughout. With 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, the home comes in at just under 3,000 square feet of living space. Finishes include built-in bookcases, a custom millwork staircase, three fireplaces and hardwood floors throughout. The gourmet kitchen has a large island, white quartz countertops, white cabinets and stainless-steel appliances. After a long stroll on the 606, continue your outdoor enjoyment on the new roof deck located above the garage and featuring a pergola to shade you from the sun.