26th Street arch restoration under way

September 20, 2013 9:51:52 AM PDT
The 26th Street welcoming arch built in 1980s is the iconic representation of the Little Village community, and it is the entry way into the busy robust business corridor.

"Mayor Emanuel reminded everyone about two years ago that we are the second Magnificent Mile," said Nilda Esperza, executive director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce.

The 26th Street Chamber of Commerce raised more than $60,000 to restore the arch and make sure the clock is now working. They just restored what was broken. This is just phase one of the project.

"The domes were here, they were all in white, Esperza said. "We just got them painted in gold to give the arch a bedazzling factor in the day. This has been a three-year initiative."

"It is a pretty big project," said French Stone contractor Olivier Dumont.

The chamber wants to make the arch a state-of-the-art structure.

"We are looking to bring it into the digital world and potentially add some digital screens there for some amazing scenery of our culture and to really make it that tourist attraction that it should be," said Esperza.

"It is nice," said resident Hector Ruiz. "I just saw it and I give it a 10."

"The arch is certainly what makes this neighborhood thrive," said Jaime DePaulo, 26th Street Chamber of Commerce.

The arch was ready for the Mexican Independence Day Parade.


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