Chicago Avenue Mural Project
On October 19 and November 05, 2015 archi-treasures along with two community artist volunteers installed a sixteen panel mural on the corner of Chicago Avenue & St Louis Avenue. This mural or urban wall is called The Chicago Avenue Mural Project. The Mural located at 3455, 3457 and 3501 is designed to shield vacant lots, beautify the commercial corridor, promote positive messages, and create an improved sense of place.
The artist is Matthew Hoffman who designed the nationally recognized You Are Beautiful campaign. A community meeting was held to get resident input on favorite messages and phrasing. A theme of “Give” and “Get” was the favorite and the inspiration for the messaging. The Mural is a set of 16 positive phrases in cursive on a blue background.
The Mural is designed to be modular so that if and when lots sell or are developed the
Mural can be moved to an alternate location. The revitalization of Chicago Avenue is underway so this Mural can be viewed as a placeholder for new development and new owners. The West Chicago Avenue ReBuild Plan envisions clusters or nodes of retail development along the corridor and an “Accelerator Node” catering to socially conscious businesses in the growth stage.
The community has seen many recent improvements along the corridor including: the creation of the West Humboldt Park Special Service Area (SSA) #63 which provides sidewalk clean up, security, district marketing and business attraction; the opening of the Salvation Army Freedom Center; the opening of Children’s Place, the opening of Turkey Chop Gourmet Grill and more. The Special Service Area sponsored the mural – the first art beautification project on the corridor. “This is an exciting project” according to SSA Program Manager Tom Otto, “It provides an opportunity to beautify the corridor, attract new investment as well as inspire the community. It has the potential to be very impactful.” Other beautification plans are in the works as well including a Façade Enhancement Program for business owners which will rebate a portion of facade improvement investments in 2016. The overall goal is to make Chicago Avenue a safer, cleaner, more beautiful place to live, work, shop, and do business.
This project was made possible through the support of Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr,
Alderman Emma Mitts, the City of Chicago, West Humboldt Park Special Service Area #63, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), West Humboldt Park Development Council, Neighborhood Housing Services, Citi Foundation & Low Income Investment Fund Partners in Progress Initiative, Chicago Community Loan Fund, archi-treasures, Dwayne Jordan, and Simeon Pawletki.
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