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West Loop Residents Split Over Proposed Fulton Market Arch

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The large TRUMP letters going on the side of the Trump Tower isn't the only sign causing a stir in Chicago. At a recent neighborhood meeting, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) presented a new gateway marker concept for Fulton Market in the West Loop. The marker — think the neighborhood signs for Lincoln Square, Old Town or Humboldt Park — would stand at Fulton Market and Halsted Street. The most recent concept, designed by Jacobs Engineering and Altamanu Inc., would evoke the area's history of transporting and packaging food. Renderings show a few different concepts, including a Corten steel gateway inspired by food crates with perforated metal sheets and dynamic lighting. The arch would be about 55 feet wide and 17 feet high, costing $300,000-$500,000. Commenters on the rendering were skeptical of the sign being a branding tool for the neighborhood, and worse, saying it would make the area "look like Disneyland." Ouch. Earlier this week at the community meeting to discuss the Nobu Hotel & Restaurant, several West Loop residents expressed dissatisfaction with the area's historic landmarking that could prevent future development. No doubt, the West Loop is hot, but will it eventually turn into a caricature of its former self with its new historic district designation and new arch?

— Megan Graham
·Fulton Market Innovation District Land Use Plan: Gateway Marker Renderings [Neighbors of West Loop]
·Fulton Market Innovation District plans evolve at local open house [Gazette Chicago]
·Previous West Loop coverage [Curbed Chicago]