Soon, the artwork itself will vanish, from public view anyway. A towering condominium high-rise called 1000M — designed by well-known architect Helmut Jahn — is being built next door and will block the birds from view.
The mural “will eventually be obstructed by 1000M,” says a spokeswoman for the 74-story, 421-unit project at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. that’s been under construction since late last year.
Chicago’s murals & mosaics
Part of a series on public art in the city and suburbs. More murals are added every week.
According to the developers, the $470 million building “promises an uncompromising commitment to the art of living with an irreplaceable location where city and nature meet, breathtaking and ‘forever’ unobstructed views.” Condos in the building, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, are priced from $313,000 for a studio to $8.1 million for a four-bedroom penthouse.
The eight-story building just to the south, at 1006 S. Michigan Ave., is the site of the north-facing mural. Owned by the same developer, it “will remain as is ... an office building,” the spokeswoman says.
Van der Sluijs’ mural is showcased on a Chicago tourism website that says: “At its heart, the work conveys triumph over adversity and, ultimately, hope. The yellow-headed blackbird depicted was once common in Chicago but has since disappeared, while the red-headed woodpecker is in danger of meeting the same fate.”
Van der Sluijs says he heard his mural will be a goner.
He says it “was so important to do” and that it would “be nice if a part would be saved,” perhaps included “in a staircase.”
“Nothing lasts forever,” he says. “That’s the thing with murals. They come and disappear.”
Click on the map below for a selection of Chicago-area murals.