Check out the 606, the newly branded Bloomingdale Trail

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The Bloomingdale Trail project finally has a name. Well, sort of. It's really more of a number: the 606, as in the the first three digits of all Chicago zip codes. The trail of the 2.7-mile elevated park, set to open next year on a former rail line, will still be known as the Bloomingdale Trail; the entirety of the project is the 606, a name befitting a vintage drum machine or a Lake Shore Drive condo building. ("Lux living at the 606" sounds arguably more natural than "Let's take a walk on the 606.") It is also the area code for eastern Kentucky.

Initially, Rahmbo's Deputy Mayor Steve Koch was puzzled by the 606 branding: "I have to confess, I didn't immediately get it."

"When it was first presented, we all sort of went, 'huh?'" Beth White, who has overseen the plan for the nonprofit Trust for the Public Land, told Chicago Tonight.

The numeric designation is the brainchild of Matt Gordon, who has one of those jobs you didn't know was a job: director of naming and writing in the Chicago office of the creative agency Landor Associates. "Through his naming work," Gordon's bio says, "he develops compelling names that help brands articulate their positioning to prospects, customers, employees, and shareholders." He has done work for Charles Schwab, Coors, FedEx, Microsoft and Frito-Lay.

Corn chips, a new Chicago park—same dif. Gordon's ultimate goal was to generate a name generic enough to appeal to all potential donors. On that task, he succeeded. But the 606 brand carries at least one depressing inevitability: that people are going to call it "The Six."


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