Exploring with James
A Winter Day in Pilsen – Part 2
Published 2013-03-10 · By James Bursa
After crossing Blue Island Avenue, I noticed this artwork. The style is similar to Banksy.
In the background is a coal train. When I lived in the area, I often saw these trains heading east with 100 cars full of coal, and returning west empty.
Looking back east towards the Produce Terminal building. On the left is the Willis Tower. To the right is the top of a skyscraper near the lake at Roosevelt Street and Michigan Avenue.
“Let it rain in the city” says this new mural at Laflin Street.
Detail of the mural. Notice how the blue zig zags have spread to the metal structure of the underpass.
Looking west at the next block of 16th street. More new murals await! There’s a ramp down from the tracks.
A group of weird creatures in yellow, red, and green. It was a very cold day and the leaking hydrant had frozen.
This collection of creatures was my favourite new mural of the day.
Behind is the same coal train as earlier.
At the ramp is this new mural of a rat. From this side it looks healthy.
But walk further to the right, and a gaping wound appears.
I reached Ashland Avenue, which is one of Chicago’s main north-south streets. There are new murals on either side. I found some information about the mural on the right at Brooklyn Street Art.
The one on the left shows a green figure with birds hatching in a nest on his head.
The next new mural is this one at Paulina Street. It seems to reference a song called Cucurrucucú paloma.
The “L” pink line crosses 16th Street and the railway tracks here.
More to find, but a friend was waiting for me at the pink line stop on 18th Street, so I turned south into Pilsen. See later in the day for the remaining murals along 16th.
After meeting my friend, we headed south down Ashland Avenue. That’s where we noticed this on 21st Place. This image is assembled from 6 photos.
We wandered through Pilsen. On Wood Street near 18th Street are these two murals. The one on the left shows famous Latinas. The Mad About The Mural website identifies them and has photos of the mural in progress.
On the right is Mexican singer Joan Sebastian, according to the Chicago Murals wiki.
Proceeding west on 18th Street, the Orozco Community Academy has these mosaics on the front.
Then on Damen we found these dummy houses painted on a wall.
I wanted to return to 16th Street to see the section I’d missed. The railway gets wider further west, so there’s no 16th Street for many blocks around Damen Avenue. We walked back east until we found its start at Wolcott Avenue. I noticed these brick houses that are not typical for the area. Perhaps they were built with the warehouse or factory next to them?
Back on 16th Street and time to fill in the gap!
We headed east.