juliamhammond

Chicago Rising from the Lake

When I reached downtown Chicago last night, several buildings were lit in blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag. This morning I took a look at a piece of art that’s also a link to this Eastern European country.

This bronze relief is called Chicago Rising from the Lake and it’s the work of a Ukrainian artist called Milton Horn. Born near Kyiv, he came to the United States as a child. The work was created in 1954 and represents Chicago herself. Lake Michigan’s ripples feature at the bottom, a sheaf of wheat is a reference to the city’s importance to agricultural trade, while a bull is a nod to its stockyards. Even the curved bars have meaning: they’re Chicago’s railways, industry and commerce.

It was displayed for a time on the wall of a garage not far from where I’m staying. But despite the significance of the piece to the Windy City, it was torn down and languished in a warehouse for many years before being lost altogether for a time. Eventually it was discovered by a firefighter and then restored at a cost of $60,000.

Today, you’ll find it on Columbus Drive Bridge on Chicago’s River Walk.

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