26-Dec-17 – Transforming the dark corridor that is Wabash Avenue into a bright and colorful part of the Loop will not be cheap.
Filmmaker Jack Newell and design strategist Seth Unger are planning a new fundraising campaign with the goal of raising at least $750,000 and possibly closer to $1 million to extend their Wabash Lights public art project another city block.
The plan is to eventually install beneath the L tracks on Wabash Avenue 600 LED lights that could be controlled by users of a mobile phone app.
In January 2016, four 12-foot LED fixtures were installed on Wabash between Monroe and Adams Streets for 15 months of testing and were then removed. $59,480 was raised from 918 investors to pay for the installation and testing and an additional $25,000 came from the media company, Comcast.
The latest round of fundraising would pay for equipment, labor, and maintenance, plus creation of the mobile app.
For perspective, Newel points out that Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate cost $23 million.