A Little Green Up Top
The Chicago Tribune today notes that "green roofs", that is roofs with gardens on top, aren't quite as popular in the suburbs as they are in Chicago. Which gives Chicagoist an opportunity to talk about one of Chicago's coolest, less-known features: A garden on top of City Hall.
It doesn't seem like a very big idea, but putting a garden on a building rooftop can be a tremendous energy saver. According to city measurements after the installation of the garden, average temperatures dropped from around 169-degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day, to between 91-119 degrees Fahrenheit. Seems like a pretty cool idea, huh? Except any person with a highly placed Loop office can attest, nobody else in Chicago has copied the idea.
Rooftop gardens still get a lot of buzz though, and other cities have built them, like Portland, Oregon, and Evansville, Indiana, but not many commercial locations. Then of course there's Al Johnson's Restaurant in Door County, Wisconsin, the original Green Roof.