L sculpture would shed light on Wabash Avenue
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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

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