Possible new sign to top off 1965 N. Milwaukee: community residents are not happy


Looking northwest from Western Ave.

Imagine a 48 wide by 14 feet high steel structured illuminated billboard atop the 1965 N. Milwaukee Ave. building (northeastern face) which is home of Margie's Candies on Western and Armitage Avenues. 


From the Logan Square Dog Park, looking south east across Western Ave.

Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno introduced an ordinance to the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards on Jan. 25 for the issuance of permits for the sign. 

Applicants are Realty, LLC Baum for Chicago based 365 Outdoor, LLC. The 672 square feet of signage will take the top of the sign to 65 feet in height from the ground. The Summit, IL. based electric contractor is listed as Kayla Electric Co., Inc., 7531 W. 62nd St., Chicago, IL, 60501. According to the application, there will be four lamps with total Wattage of 500.


At night, this is the OilExpress sign

Two signs on Western, south of the expressway are said to be the size of the proposed sign. While they are not electronic flashing signs, they are well lit. Because of their locations, they do not appear to directly impact any area residents. 


At dusk looking south across Western at the corner of Armitage and Western is Margie's Candies

The proposed sign, however, will impact residents. "The visual pollution put along the expressway is now creeping into our residential areas," commented architect Ed Tamminga, chair of the Preservation and Development (P&D) committee for the Wicker Park Committee (WPC). "Residential areas are not where this big signage should be and illuminated is even worse."

While some say that this is not residential according to the city, the fact is that there are residential units above store fronts and there is a large new residential building being constructed on the southeast corner of Milwaukee and Western.


Diagonally across Western at Milwaukee is the new residential building under construction

"The Bucktown Community Organization (BCO) is vehemently opposed to advertising of this scale in the Bucktown area that we will be forced to stare at for decades to come," said Steve Jensen, BCO's president. "One of the other problems with this installation is we don't know if this is an LED electronic billboard." 

"Before such a huge sign is put up in the neighborhood, there should be a community meeting about it and Alderman Moreno should listen to them and follow what people want done," said the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association (GGNA). 

"The ordinance was not considered by Zoning yesterday [Mon., Feb. 28]," said Raymond Valadez, chief of staff for the 1st Ward. "Since it is not a zoning change, it will not go through the community organization vetting process. That being said, we are interested in community input on this."

"Large highway sized billboards, regardless of the process for zoning should get feedback from the community," says BCO's Philip Edison, Zoning and Planning Committee chairmen. "An elected official not bringing this scale of a sign to the community means he's not doing his job." 



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