Day 120: Chicago Rising From the Lake

Chicago Rising from the Lake

The sculpture, commissioned in 1954 by the City of Chicago and weighing over 3 tons, was originally installed on the facade of Chicago Parking Facility No. 1 at 11 W. Wacker Drive, and remained there until the garage was demolished in 1983. It was abandoned in storage until “rediscovered” in 1987 at the Chicago Department of Transportation ironshop. The sculpture was conserved and installed on the Columbus Drive Bridge in 1998 as part of the development of the path along the Chicago River.

Milton Horn’s bronze bas-relief is symbolic of the city of Chicago. The female figure represents Chicago emerging reborn from the bottom of Lake Michigan following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The sheaf of wheat, bull and eagle reference Chicago’s historic role as a center of commerce, the livestock market and air transportation, respectively. Floral forms evoke the city motto, “Urbs in Horto” or “City in a Garden.” Finally, the bronze ring arching across the relief represents Chicago’s central geography within the United States.

Sculptor:  Milton Horn.
Originally Installed: 1954  Installed on Columbus 1987
Size and Material: Bronze, H 7 ft. x W 12 ft.
Location: Columbus Drive Bridge Columbus Dr. at the Chicago River Esplanade

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