July 4, 2008

Chicago's Monuments, Markers and Memorials
John Graf and Steve Skorpad

Stone, Steel and Judgment -- My judgment. The most disastrous: Jack Brickhouse statue on Freedom Plaza because of its "Jack-in-the-box" rendering of the famous Cubs' announcer. The most fitting: Stephan A. Douglas, at 35th and Cottage Grove, high above and far away as if ashamed and running. The most well-traveled: The Haymarket Riot Monument of a cop, relocated "as a security precaution" from its original spot in the old Haymarket Square on Randolph Street to its present location safe inside the courtyard of the Chicago Police Academy. The most dominant: The two steel-sculptured Puerto Rican flags draping Paseo Boricua signaling a nearly mile-long stretch of Division Street. The best foursome: Pioneers, Discoverers, Defense and Regeneration on the four pylons of the Michigan Avenue bridge. The best eight-some: the eight bronze busts constituting the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame along the Chicago River (featuring Field, Filene, Huntington Hartford, Rosenwald, Wanamaker, Ward, Wood and Woolworth). The most iconic (before Millennium Park): the Picasso sculpture in Daley Center. The most exquisite: Bowman and Spearman, two Native Americans on horses marking the Congress Boulevard entrance to Grant Park. The most thrilling: Buckingham Fountain. The most poised: On the Prowl and Attitude of Defiance, the two lions standing guard at the Art Institute of Chicago. The most fun: the Cows on Parade memorial outside of the Chicago Cultural Center. The most impressive: Standing Lincoln, in the park behind the Chicago History Museum. The most curious: The Couch burial vault, the sole survivor of the cemetery that once sprawled throughout what is now Lincoln Park. The most, well, statuesque: Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln Park. The spookiest: Eternal Silence, by Lorado Taft, in Graceland Cemetery and The Fountain of Time, by Lorado Taft, in Washington Park. The most serene: the granite boulder accompanied by a simply bronze tablet marking the small island grave site of the great Daniel Burnham in Graceland Cemetery.


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