Chicago City Hall Rooftop Garden

Chicago’s most famous rooftop garden sits atop City Hall, an 11-story office building in the Loop. City Hall and the adjacent Cook County building appear to most people as one building spanning a city block bounded by LaSalle, Randolph, Clark and Washington streets. First planted in 2000, the City Hall rooftop garden was conceived as a demonstration project – part of the City’s Urban Heat Island Initiative – to test the benefits of green roofs and how they affect temperature and air quality. The garden consists of 20,000 plants of more than 150 species, including shrubs, vines and two trees. The plants were selected for their ability to thrive in the conditions on the roof, which is exposed to the sun and can be windy and arid. Most are prairie plants native to the Chicago region.

Like all green roofs, the City Hall rooftop garden improves air quality, conserves energy, reduces stormwater runoff and helps lessen the urban heat island effect. The garden’s plants reflect heat, provide shade and help cool the surrounding air through evapotranspiration, which occurs when plants secrete or “transpire” water through pores in their leaves. The water draws heat as it evaporates, cooling the air in the process. Plants also filter the air, which improves air quality by using excess carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.

The rooftop garden mitigates the urban heat island effect by replacing what was a ballasted, black tar roof with green plants. The garden absorbs less heat from the sun than the tar roof, keeping City Hall cooler in summer and requiring less energy for air conditioning. The garden also absorbs and uses rain water. It can retain 75% of a 1 inch rainfall before there is stormwater runoff into the sewers.

CityHallRooftopGarden2

CityHallRooftopGarden5

CityHallRooftopGarden6

CityHallRooftopGarden4

CityHallRooftopGarden3

Chicago City Hall Rooftop Garden2

The post Chicago City Hall Rooftop Garden appeared first on Pursuitist.


Related Luxury:

The 5 Best Green Restaurants In the US

The 5 Best Green Restaurants In the US

The French painter Paul Cezanne once wrote that, “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly ob[...]

Oslo, Norway: Greenest International City

Oslo, Norway: Greenest International City

International cities have long been ahead of the curve in terms of environmental initiatives and sus[...]

Epicuren Discovery Launches Bee Pollen Hair Care Line

Epicuren Discovery Launches Bee Pollen Hair Care Line

With a plethora of natural results-driven beauty products on store shelves, it’s becoming increasing[...]

Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland

Departure Restaurant and Lounge, Portland

In recent years, rooftop lounges have become the hottest boites in cities with large populations and[...]

Bardessono: Greenest Luxury Hotel

Bardessono: Greenest Luxury Hotel

Eco-friendly hotels are one of the hottest trends in the travel world. Not too long ago when one tho[...]


« PREVIOUS STORYNEXT STORY »

More from our Partners