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Lincoln Park Neighbors Concerned About Big Blue Sculpture

CHICAGO (CBS) — It is big, it’s blue, and it sprang up out of nowhere and people living in the Lincoln Park neighborhood said Wednesday that they want to know why a giant statue has been erected in their neighborhood.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports that the statue went up Friday at Burling Street and Armitage Avenue. A viewer contacted CBS 2 on Wednesday to find out why.

The blue behemoth, a huge steel sculpture, said to have been made by artist John Henry, sits in the walled courtyard of a new home under construction at Burling and Armitage.

It appears to be about 40 feet tall. Neighbor Evelyn McCullen said she is worried about it.

“It does look unsafe from the standpoint of, if there are large beams hanging over on the sidewalk, in the wintertime you’re going to have icicles forming,” she said. “The water’s just going to go running down there, these icicles are going to be hanging out over the sidewalk.”

As all art is supposed to do, the sculpture had neighbors talking.

“I think if, you know, they can do it and they can afford it, more power to them. It’s not an eyesore or anything, it’s beautiful,” one woman said.

“It really engages my emotions, at least, and if that’s the purpose of art, then it’s very successful,” one man said.

CBS 2 caught up with the owner and the architect as they left the property Wednesday night. The architect would say only, “it’s art.”

One neighbor said, “I think everybody has their own tastes. … You know, I’m kind of indifferent about it, I think it’s unique.”

McCullen said she is concerned that the overhanging beams are not up to code. She said she’s reached out to Ald. Michelle Smith (43rd) about it, but hasn’t heard back.

CBS 2 also tried to contact the alderman’s office, but messages have not yet been returned.

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