L sculpture would shed light on Wabash Avenue
Loop North News


Wabash Lights

(Above) Rendering of a lighting sculpture under the L tracks along a stretch of Wabash Avenue. (Click on image to view larger version.)

8-Oct-14 – A $5 million lighting sculpture below the L tracks would “re-energize” Wabash Avenue, say three Chicagoans raising money for the project.

The Wabash Lights would consist of 4,000 programmable LED tubes installed on the underside of the tracks for seven blocks on Wabash from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.

“The lighting sculpture will bring life and awareness to the largely neglected strip of Wabash Avenue,” says the group on its website. “Creating this new destination in the heart of the Loop will increase annual visitors to Chicago, increase tourism, and encourage the growth of local business.”

Jack Newell is a filmmaker and “public art enthusiast,” Seth Unger is a design strategist at Gensler, a design and architecture firm with an office in Chicago, and Justin Wardell is a senior account executive and ten-year veteran of the lighting industry. They have been working with the idea since 2011.

They hope to have money and permits by the end of this year. It would take six months for the city to install the lights but they would be ready by next June and last five years. That is the length of the warranty on the lights, made near Boston by Philips Color Kinetics.

Chicago Transit Authority would work with Intelligent Lighting Creations of Arlington Heights, Illinois, to install the lights. Recent projects for ILC include the Science Storms exhibit at Museum of Science & Industry and Fantasea at Shedd Aquarium.

Costs include about $100 per day for electricity but the project, say its creators, would offer inspiration and safety.

“This public display will inspire the residents of Chicago, boost civic pride, and foster a safe, well-lit gathering point in the downtown area.”

 tumblr: The Wabash Lights

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 8-Oct-14 7:05 AM

Loop North News


What’s news in the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

More stories

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Daniel Biss, a state senator, will speak at an event hosted by Streeterville Organization of Active Residents. SOAR member, Streeterville resident, and NBC Reporter Charlie Wojciechowski will moderate. You do not have to be a SOAR member to attend. However, seating will be limited. 6:00 p.m., registration. Program starts at 6:30 p.m. Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Street. Map. More info.

January 25
City Club of Chicago presents Christine Dudley, director of Illinois Film Office, promoting Illinois as a global destination for film, television, and advertising production. In 2016, the film office reported a record-breaking $499 million in direct spending and over 13,000 Illinois resident job hires. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.

January 25
Dancers using handheld tools and legacy processes explore the relationship between mind, body, and tool, in Project Tool, opening at Chicago Cultural Center. While sawing, hammering, sanding, and nailing, the dancers collaborate with tools as if they are partners in a dance with the body while building a wood, spring dance floor upon which they dance. Opening reception, 5:30 p.m., Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, Garland Gallery, 1st Floor. Map. More info.

More events

Biggest Gainers & Losers

219.93 9.95

155.17 2.60

337.73 2.43

154.28 2.07

Downtown Chicago Stocks