Northerly Island: Chicago's Latest Old Transportation Platform Turned Urban Oasis

In 2003, Chicago mayor Richard Daley ordered an excavating crew to demolish Meigs Field Air Strip.  One of the mayor's most notorious demonstrations of power, he claimed it was done to prevent terrorist attacks on the city, though it's widely known he wanted the airport shut down long before that in an effort to create more green spaces along the lakeshore.  Now, 12 years later, that vision has become a reality.

Photo by Jake Bartlett

Photo by Jake Bartlett

Meigs Field Air Strip was located on Northerly Island - a small man-made peninsula situated between the city of Chicago and Lake Michigan.  The first time I visited Northerly Island was around 3 years ago.  At that time, it was still pretty much un-touched.  But crews have been busy there, and after a nearly $10 million overhaul, the island has been converted into Chicago's latest old transportation platform turned public space, a recent trend in the city with The 606 (an abandoned rail line turned city park) opening this past June.

What you need to know:

The Park opens at 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily - except for days of Bears home games
It's accessible by CTA 146 bus
Parking is $1.75/hour
No dogs allowed

Park Features:

1 Mile Trail
5-acre pond
Boardwalks
Educational Signs
Hills
An incredible view of Chicago