Tuesday, May 17, 2011


So sad.  Just like some of their real-life counterparts, some of the geese on the beautiful bricolage at Foster and Lake Shore Drive didn't survive the Chicago winter.  We hope they're replaced soon.


  1. I really, really hope this was just an accident.

  2. Not sure about an accident as much as it might be weather related.. as there are at least 2 different birds that suffered the same fate. That, or someone did indeed smash them. I might be inclined to think the former since the rest of the bricolage has been left largely unmarred.

  3. I am going to take a guess that it was material related., with weather as a catalyst.

    In bricolage the images and characters are done separately from the background with its bands, fields etc.

    This means the mortars and grout for the different elements were mixed and applied at different times, on different days with different conditions. This may be an isolated example of a bad mix or application. Considering the sheer number of elements in this composition I certainly don't mean it as a criticism, it happens. The mural is a fine piece of work and otherwise holding up well.

    Or possibly it could be one of the types of glazed tile that doesn't hold up in outdoor Chicago conditions. This doesn't look like vandalism. chipping tile too much work to fit that bill.

    Either way it is easily repaired, not sure by who, preferably the artist who may have moved on. I could do it if asked by someone with the authority to grant such permission, not sure who that would be, Park District, Dept. of Trans., 48th ward Ald. Osterman, the artist...not sure....?

    Good morning...off to work.

  4. @ Littleton Arts Uptown The work was done by students / volunteers at Alternatives in the 48th Ward. You might try giving them a call to see who might be able to help you, help them, help us! http://www.alternativesyouth.org/

  5. Our city has no money left (thank you Mayor Daley) and the new Mayor Emanuel is cutting budgets.

    Don’t expect any extra dollars to decorate underpasses.

    Look at the positive, it’s like “patina” on antique furniture.

  6. @ larry leland - this project was not paid for by the city, it was donated by the chicago public art group & local community volunteers.

    don't worry, more can still be done w/o the city having to contribute a dime, so stop complaining for once.

  7. I read a blog post about this damage on one of the Edgewater/48th Ward blogs I frequent (can't find the post right now) a few weeks or a month or so ago, and it was noted that Alderman Smith's office was aware of it and has contacted the artist for replacement tiles/repairs already.

    It was undetermined (or at least not shared) whether the damage was due to vandalism or application defects.

  8. Up close it looks like the damage came from excess moisture because water splashes down from the left-hand south-bound lane.

    The bridge is split and the re is an opening directly above these geese, The material can handle a lot of moisture of course but once a puddle forms up there it stays wetter longer and maybe the road salt doesn't help.

    Not sure what a permanent fix would be, maybe some kind of flashing?

    Another option is to change the material the geese are made of to a glazed tile in that location as the tiling is holding up well.