CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s one of the most glorious spots in Chicago.
From afar the iconic amphitheater and greenery of the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park perfectly blend in with the neighboring high rises, but a closer look shows the beauty is beginning to show its age.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Steamy Heat Through Midweek
Walk around Millennium Park and one of the most common sites you’ll see is people snapping photos of the metal ribbons that make up Pritzker Pavilion’s bandshell and the criss-crossing trellis of pipes holding up its sound system.
Wide shots of the pavilion are beautiful, but close ups, not so much.
Mark Carrara, who has taken photos all across the city, couldn’t help but spot rust and peeling paint all over the trellises that soar above the seats and lawn at Pritzker Pavilion.
“There are huge rust spots on that,” he said. “I just couldn’t believe that.”
Some people call Pritzker Pavilion the focal point of Millennium Park, especially in summer when it regularly hosts free concerts and film screenings.READ MORE: 31 Percent Of Illinois Nursing Homes Are Not Providing CDC With COVID-19 Vaccine Information, Organization Says
The pipes that hold up the sound system for all those events are far from the gleaming metal trellis that debuted at Millennium Park when it opened in 2004.
“It’s a black eye, I would think, on the city,” Carrara said. “You don’t want to have it look ugly.”
Unlike the bandshell’s stainless steel ribbons, which are rust resistant, the sound system’s trellis is made of painted structural steel which is vulnerable to the elements.
The Millennium Park Foundation said the rust and peeling paint on the trellis are the result of natural wear and tear from 15 years of Chicago weather. From day one, officials knew it would happen eventually, and eventually is now.
The trellis needs a new coat of paint every 15 to 20 years, much like your home, unlike the stainless steel bandshell and iconic Bean, which are stainless steel and never need to be painted.
One of the big challenges is deciding when to repaint the Pritzker Pavilion trellis. Winter is out, because of the weather; and so is summer, because of the crowds. That leaves the spring or fall, likely in 2020 or 2021.MORE NEWS: Family Of National Guardsman Chrys Carvajal Posts Flyers Around Belmont-Cragin, Offers Reward After He Was Shot And Killed
Officials estimated it would cost about $2.5 million to repaint the trellis, the same cost as a recent upgrade to the sound system. It is all paid for with private funding.