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Chicago's lakefront trail is a popular spot for cyclists, runners and walkers. (Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr)

As part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to improve Chicago parks, a revamped section of the lakefront trail was opened to the public Friday.

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Designed by famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the 61,000-square-foot structure was first a 19th century stable, later housing theatrical costumes and sets in the 1930s. But now it looms, cold and vacant, across the street from its sister, the DuSable Museum of African American History – another Burnham original which has tried unsuccessfully for more than 10 years to bring the empty stable back to life.