Chicago Sells Out: Advertising on Bridges

Critic Blair Kamin speaks out against Mayor Emmanuel's decision to allow advertising on Chicago's iconic bridges to make up a budget shortfall. Kamin calls the move "the uglification of the City Beautiful."

The Wabash Avenue Bridge, a stately bridge built early in the 20th century, currently features banners advertising Bank of America.

Kamin opines:

"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."

Full Story: New ads on the Wabash Avenue Bridge: Avert your eyes; at least they'll be gone in a month


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.