Lincoln Park residents irked over sculpture

November 2, 2011 4:52:58 PM PDT
An unusual version of "not in my back yard" is playing out in Llincoln Park. It involves a large piece of sculpture that has just gone up in a front yard, raising questions about who signed the city permit.

A lot of people have decorations in their landscaping like a small religious statue or a nice bird bath. But what has been erected in the front yard of home right across from Lincoln Park High School isn't either of those.

It is a towering, metal super-sculpture.

A video has been posted on a neighborhood blog headlined, "Enormous Burling Street sculture."

On the blog, several neighbors write about the sculpture in unflattering terms, including "hideous."

The piece was made by famous sculptor John Henry, who is best known for similar large metal works in public places and museums.

But this is the front yard of a newly-built home on a city lot, owned by a member of the Novak Construction family.

Crews began putting up the artwork last Friday. Some nearby residents saw that it was as tall as the house itself and nestled into the front corner, and began calling city officials, including 43rd ward city council member Michele Smith.

A spokesperson for Alderman Smith said they are looking into whether proper permits were issued for "Big Blue" and that they have received several calls and emails concerning the sizable sculpture.

We have been unable to reach the owner of the property, who apparently doesn't live there yet. And the artist had no comment.