After months of planning and raising thousands of crowdfunded dollars, the Wabash Lights project for Wabash Avenue in the Loop is ready for its beta installation. This week, the project's co-creators told ChicagoInno that have received approval from the CTA and Chicago Department of Transportation to go ahead with a scaled down beta version of the project. The beta will consist of just 12 feet of LED tubing and will be installed in January. The final project will light up the underbelly of the CTA tracks with a total of 4,000 feet of LED tubes over a two block stretch (Madison to Adams). The end result will feature an interactive public art experience that visitors can manipulate using their smartphones.
Now that the Wabash Lights team has successfully raised nearly $60,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, co-creators Seth Unger and Jack Newell face their next big challenge: finding $5 million through traditional capital fundraising. According to Unger, the beta's goals will be "to troubleshoot design, interactivity, and the fixtures themselves for durability." When completed, the team believes that the Wabash Lights project will draw more tourists and locals to the area to check out the attraction. They also believe that local businesses may see a boost in tourist spending, particularly in the evening hours. However, the project won't be permanent. The team has previously stated that lighting installation will be removed after five years.
·Programmable LED Light Tubes Are Coming to the Wabash L Tracks In January [ChicagoInno]
·Wabash Lights Creators Raise $60K on Kickstarter for Beta [Curbed Chicago]
·Five Questions for Wabash Lights Co-Creators Seth Unger and Jack Newell [Curbed Chicago]
·All previous Wabash Lights coverage [Curbed Chicago]