In early 2013, the Mayor’s office announced plans to work with Columbia College to transform Wabash Avenue from Congress Parkway to Roosevelt Road as part of the mayor’s Chicago Cultural Plan (learn more here). Since then over 40 murals have been added to buildings – not just in the originally designated area but beyond – creating a bounty of vibrant and fun street art (learn more here and here).
The area has been dubbed the Wabash Arts Corridor, and it stretches roughly from Van Buren Street to Roosevelt Road, between Michigan Avenue and State Street. We’ve adapted the name and the boundaries to extend the Wabash Corridor down to 21st Street, because we believe the entire area reflects a “powerfully urban setting” dedicated to creating a “living urban canvas” by promoting a DIY spirit for artists and creators, embracing “celebrated artists, emerging artists, future artists and art lovers,” and serving as a “living laboratory that encourages activity and renewal at the street level.”
The Wabash Corridor is still a bit rough in places, but that adds to its charm. And while it is a community in a near-constant state of revitalization, it has managed to keep its urban spirit intact. That’s one of our favorite things about it. Other South Loop neighborhoods may make you forget you’re in the heart of a city, but the Wabash Corridor reminds you that it is urban to its core.