The Wabash Avenue Bridge, a stately bridge built early in the 20th century, currently features banners advertising Bank of America.
"Yes, these are tough times and Chicago is desperate for cash. "We want to find innovative ways to bring new revenues into the city to protect critical city services," said Kathleen Strand, a city spokeswoman.
But the public instinctively understands that marring civic icons in the name of balancing the books is a self-destructive act, one that sacrifices Chicago's matchless architectural identity. As of Monday evening, more than 96 percent of those responding to an online Tribune poll gave the bridge ads a thumbs-down."