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3 Chicago Rooftop Gardens Hiding in Plain Sight

Chicago Other

We love a beautiful rooftop garden in a fleeting Chicago summer, but did you know there are some green roofs hiding in plain sight? One of them may be right under your feet.

1. Millennium Park


Yes, the popular park and downtown tourist destination is considered one of the largest—if not the largest—green roof projects in the world at 24.5 acres. Millennium Park covers two multi-level parking lots, an opera hall and the Metra Electric and South Shore rail lines. It’s considered a roof because it sits at grade over the parking garages.

2. City Hall


Former Mayor Richard Daley was a champion of green building initiatives and this 38k SF green roof project was one of his early victories. Built as part of an EPA study to battle the urban heat island effect and improve downtown air quality, City Hall’s rooftop garden stands 12 stories above street level and saves the city $5k annually on utility bills.

3. McCormick Place


At 96k SF, McCormick Place’s rooftop garden is the second-largest in the country and the largest modular green roof in the world. Built from over 23,000 Green Roof Blocks, this garden can retain 77,000 gallons of stormwater and is used to irrigate 2.5 acres of crops yielding over 8,000 pound of produce used in McCormick Place’s catering and restaurant operations.