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Crown Fountain Cameras KAPUT!!!

Ah, the power of the blogosphere. As of 11:00 a.m. this morning, the City of Chicago has removed the security cameras (Trib follow-up article) from the top of Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain. And let me just say, WOO-HOO!

[Ed. note: the above-linked Trib article was also published on the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s Metro section on Wednesday, December 20, keeping this story on Metro page 1 for two solid days!]

Yes, folks, mere hours after the publication of a highly critical Chicago Tribune article pitched by my architectural uber-photoblogger boyfriend, Devyn, that appeared smack on the front page of the Metro section today, the city came to its senses.

It was Sunday that Devyn and I were taking a photoblogging walk through the park when we came upon the ill-placed, visually offending cameras sticking out of the top of both video towers of Jaume Plensa’s celebrated fountain. After we picked our jaws off of the ground, Devyn started taking pictures.

Yesterday and Sunday we both blogged about the architectural defacement of the world-famous fountain–an act so unacceptable it brought to mind the jack-booted feet of homeland security officers literally trampling down the spirit of public art in America. And then Devyn emailed Trib architecture critic Blair Kamin and, thankfully, the Trib was as shocked as we were.

Given how quickly the cameras came down, I take it the mayor’s office was equally shocked, too.

Devyn and I love our Downtown Chicago neighborhood and the rest of our great city to absolutely no end, hence our distress. But I guess when your hearts are in the right place, you really can fight city hall. Credit is due overwhelmingly to Devyn, though, for writing one incredible pitch email to Blair. Go, Devyn!

So a big Thank You to the city for coming to its senses. And to our fellow Chicagoans (and not just the art and park lovers among you), and to Jaume Plensa (quoted in the second Trib article today), on behalf of my better half and me, you’re welcome!!!

Devyn, do you believe we’re a blogging power couple now? 😉

Categories: Architecture Best Of Chicago Carless News Media

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

My Bio | My Conversion | My Family Reunion


13 replies

  1. Pingback: Weekend Link Love
  2. NEW YORK TIMES Quotes Devyn Caldwell (Chicago’s “Looper”) on Crown Fountain Cameras

    (Photo: The former Millennium Park Martians go national. Credit: Looper.) It’s official. I’m no longer the only half of this relationship who’s made it into the New York Times. Today, an article appears in the Times’ National section covering…

  3. Thanks Mike and Devyn for keeping public art just that–and not making it a handmaiden to security cameras.

    Michelangelo would have been proud!

  4. Yeah, but you and Devyn took that walk, and took those pictures, and complained about it on the internet. That guy from the Trib just did his job.

    [Ed. note: The “guy from the Trib” in question is James Janega, and I’m still thrilled that he and the Trib chose to cover the story. They didn’t have to write it, but they did. Frankly, Devyn and I were just doing our “jobs” as stewards of our own neighborhood when we made the stink in the first place. We’re just glad others listened. -Mike Doyle]

  5. Yes, you may rest. You and a lot of other writers did more in a span of a few hours than a lot of emails sent to Kamin accomplished. By the time I had my usual chicken pesto at Fox & Obel today, you had already reported that the bubblecams were history–probably taken down by the same crew that put them up in the first place. Besides, Kamin goes to battle when larger planning or preservation efforts are at stake; 100 foot long banners are the stuff Alderman are to codify. On the other hand, you’ve set yourself up as the Godfather of Esthetics, and I expect you to grant favors. Ha. Thanks again.

  6. Thanks guys!

    Cheryl, not at all. The Trib did all the work of tipping off the City, not to mention getting Jaume Plensa informed. Devyn and I are thrilled that the Trib but its shoulder into the story. It was a team effort 🙂

    Robert Salm, let us rest a bit, sheesh! Perhaps you could email Mr. Kamin yourself? Frankly, I think those damned signs are a losing battle. Besides, I want those new residents downtown, anyway! Although they will just crowd up the new Trader Joe’s…

  7. OK, boys. Congrats on your 15, er, 20 minutes of fame for dethroning that ugly Orwellian crouton on Juame’s people-spraying sculpturetron. Once you’re finished jumping up and down, let’s move to even worse eyesores in our city’s skyline, namely, those “CONDOS FOR SALE,” “RENT ME NOW,” billboards-in-disguise that litter the tops of buildings with Helvetica’d vinyl siding. They’re everywhere–at eye level, double-decker bus level, plane level–and they make lovely camera shots for the people back in Barcelona to tell just how desperate our developers are to fill the dozens of constructions and conversions dotting our downtown.

  8. I see the Trib is taking credit for all of your hard work. At least we know why those cameras came down. Way to go, guys!

  9. City of Chicago Defaces Crown Fountain

    (Photo: Take me to your leader…and tell him to get this thing off of my head. Credit: Looper.) There are many good places to put security cameras in Chicago’s architecturally brilliant Millennium Park. Smack on top of Jaume Plensa’s…

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