Chicago Heights welcomes Lincoln Highway mural
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com April 5, 2013 8:16PM
Updated: May 8, 2013 6:17AM
Chicago Heights officials on Friday joined the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition as the Southland’s ninth and final mural in the Lincoln Highway series was installed.
Officials drove in the final “golden screw” to mark the occasion at the Chicago Heights water department pumping station, 137 E. 14th St., which is also Lincoln Highway in Chicago Heights.
Like other murals, it is based on a vintage photograph. This one is of the McEldowney Bridge where Lincoln Highway crosses Thorn Creek. It included advanced features such as separate and protected pedestrian walkways and concrete lanterns.
The first field secretary of the Lincoln Highway Association, Henry C. Ostermann, crossed this bridge twice a year as he inspected the new coast-to-coast highway.
A special element in the new mural is a three-dimensional “L” sign, in red, white and blue against a black and white image.
Chicago Heights is home to the 33rd mural in a series of 35 murals along a 179-mile stretch of the corridor in Illinois.
Murals also have been installed in Frankfort, Lynwood, Matteson, Mokena, New Lenox, Park Forest, Sauk Village and University Park. When the mural project is completed at the end of April, the series will be one of the largest works of public art in the country, and will showcase the history of the early highway, according to the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition.
“As the ‘Crossroads of the Nation,’ (where Lincoln and Dixie Highways crossed) Chicago Heights has always been an important stop on the Lincoln Highway,” Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez said in a news release. “This spectacular mural tells the story of innovations the city pushed forward and the significance the city had as part of the 3,330-mile Lincoln Highway.”
The mural was championed by the late Mayor Alex Lopez.
“While this is a bittersweet moment that Mayor Lopez wasn’t here to see realized, I know he would be proud that the city of Chicago Heights is included in this historic series,” Gonzalez said.
Also recently installed was mural No. 32 in Crest Hill — the second mural for that city.
This one features the story of “Women on the Lincoln Highway,” featuring Anita King and Alice Ramsey and is located at 1701 Larkin Ave., in the Hillcrest Shopping Center.
Each woman used her excellent driving skills to make historic, record-setting trips across the country on the early Lincoln Highway. These road trips and public appearances were designed for promoting car manufacturing companies, Hollywood studios and the new highway, according to the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition.
The other Crest Hill mural is at 1693 Plainfield Road.
For a complete list of the murals, visit drivelincolnhighway.com.
Signs of the Times magazine, the industry’s oldest sign trade publication, named ShawCraft Signs and artist Jay Allen a first-place prize winner in its 2013 International Sign Design Contest for the Lincoln Highway mural project.
This is the second international award for the Lincoln Highway project, with ShawCraft and Allen receiving a second-place award in 2012. The project has also earned three first-place awards from federal and state tourism organizations.