The Burnham Plan Centennial - Bold Plans, Big Dreams

Calendar & Projects


Last Four Miles

Last Four Miles

With extensive community participation and solid technical support, Friends of the Parks has developed and proposed an award-winning, visionary and practical plan for completing the last four miles of gaps in Daniel Burnham’s vision of uninterrupted public access along Chicago’s entire 30-mile shoreline from Evanston to Indiana. This strategic, long-term project will achieve four of the five Green Legacy goals: completing our region’s trail system, expanding neighborhood green space, protecting our shoreline, and preserving regionally significant open spaces. The Last Four Miles proposal details shoreline park and beach improvements tailored to the very different challenges of the two-mile gap north of Hollywood and the two-mile gap south of 71st Street.

First steps are already underway for transforming former industrial sites on the south side with almost 400 acres of new parks and beaches. And on the north lakefront nearly 100 acres of new park land would connect currently isolated small parks and beaches. The new parkland will improve the environment by reducing air pollution, creating habitat for wildlife and protecting the shoreline from storms and erosion. When Burnham and Bennett published their proposal for a continuous green lakefront in their Plan of Chicago in 1909 only six miles of lakefront were public. It took decades of public support and civic will to literally build from scratch today’s 26 miles of public lakefront parks and beaches. During the Plan’s 100th anniversary, Friends of the Parks is moving Chicago toward completing that vision.

For a print-friendly fact sheet on the Last 4 Miles, click here.

Program Partner

Friends of the Parks

Friends of the Parks (FOTP) is a park advocacy organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago's parks and forest preserves for all citizens. Since 1975, FOTP has increase private and public commitment to Chicago's parks through establishing park advisory councils, ...[MORE]

Friends of the Parks

Contact: Erma Tranter, 312.857.2757 x18,,

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