'Transformers' street closures again this weekend

July 26, 2010 8:53:28 AM PDT
Part of Michigan Avenue is closed to traffic this weekend while crews film the movie "Transformers 3."

Crews will be shooting on the Michigan Avenue Bridge above the Chicago River, as well as aerial stunts near Trump Tower.

"Michigan Avenue will be closed between Ontario Street and Randolph Street starting 8 p.m. Thursday July 15th, and that will continue through 5 a.m. Monday, July 19," said Bobby Ware of the Chicago Dept. of Transportation on Tuesday.

Lower Michigan Avenue will be closed between Hubbard and Wacker from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Filming will also affect some downtown bus routes.

Last weekend, crews shot part of the movie in Chicago's Loop, focusing on LaSalle Street. Then they headed north to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where shooting took place near the Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Transformers movies are known for their special effects. The specifics are being kept under wraps, but fans in Milwaukee said they saw posters of automobiles and a classic car on site.

Among the many locations around Chicago, Transformers scenes have been shot at the historic Rosenwald building at 46th and Michigan.

"We found out from the children they've been doing it for three or four days, up and down the streets doing explosions," said Mark Allen of the Save The Rosenwald Coalition.

On Thursday, a group voiced concerns about shooting in the Rosenwald.

The shoot comes after a campaign to preserve the building that was developed in the 1920's by Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co. It was then called the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments and was home to famous African-American Chicagoans.

The complex is now vacant and needs renovation.

The group fighting for its preservation say they were shocked to learn that the aging building had been used for a film shoot.

"We should not have found out about it at the tail end of the process. We should have been included in the process," said Allen.

The Chicago Film Office director says great precautions have been taken with the Rosenwald and other locations around the city.

"All the special effects, all of the pyrotechnics, all of the stunts, in fact, were rehearsed and performed prior them going on location for the benefit of the Chicago Fire Department and the Bureau of Fire Prevention just to test to make sure that whatever materials they were using that there wouldn't be any permanent damage because of it, and that the fire department was prepared for it," said Richard Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office.

City officials estimate that the filming will bring about $20 million to the local economy.


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