Thursday, February 4, 2016

They Say The Neon Lights Are Bright, On Waaaaabash

It was a big night for Jack Newell and Seth Unger, the driving forces behind The Wabash Lights, a public art installation that made its beta-test debut beneath the Wabash L tracks Thursday evening. And looking at them gave us anything but the blues. Though, they *are* blue. Sometimes.

The Wabash Lights project gained notoriety in June of last year, when Newell and Unger launched a Kickstarter campaign to procure the funding needed to test a mock-up of their lighting equipment and design elements. 918 donors (your author is proudly one of them) chipped in to get things rolling, and the $55,000 goal was met and exceeded.

The Wabash Lights

The Wabash Lights glow from the underside of the L tracks above South Wabash Avenue.

Fast forward to Thursday, when the beta test got underway, involving four parallel sets of neon between Monroe and Adams streets. Eventually, the Wabash Lights team hopes to run their interactive light tubes all the way from Lake Street down to Van Buren Street. The current “Phase One” will include over 20,000 total feet of lights along a two-block stretch from Madison Street to Adams.

There’s a lot of work to do before all that can happen. But Jack, Seth, and team deserve to enjoy this night for awhile, before getting back to the work of seeing their dream completed.

We gave you a link to the Wabash Lights above, but wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. So here it is again. Check it out, and remember, though the Kickstarter campaign has ended, you can still make a donation to this project.


The Wabash Lights


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from The Chicago Architecture Blog

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