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No approval for signs in Logan Square Boulevards District

  • Two signs were proposed for the building located at 2616-18 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Logan Square Boulevards District.
Two signs were proposed for the building located at 2616-18 N. Milwaukee… (Google )
May 02, 2013|Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

A proposal to erect two signs on Milwaukee Avenue in the landmarked Logan Square Boulevards District has hit a roadblock.

VisualCast, an outdoor advertising company, sought approval to put up two signs measuring 60 feet long and 20 feet tall on a vacant five-story building in the heart of Logan Square.

But the Permit Review Committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday issued a preliminary decision to oppose the application for signs at 2616-18 N. Milwaukee Ave. City officials said the signs would adversely affect the district landmarked in 2005.

Paul Levin, executive director of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, said he wanted to ensure the character of the historic district remains intact without large commercial signage.

"The character of Logan Square and its boulevards is to encourage relaxation, recreation, contemplation and thinking about events that are historical that are symbolized by the monument in the center of the square," said Levin.

The proposal spurred a change.org petition created by resident Andrew Schneider in opposition of the signs and signed online by more than 1,000 people.

Schneider said he was pleased with the committee's decision. "Putting these signs in is a huge detriment to Logan Square. It really is. It benefits no one."

"For all these years, we've had nothing but a vacant building. If they got a permit to put these signs up, the benefit would accrue to the advertisers, the billboard company, the owners of the building, none of whom live in this neighborhood. And we in the neighborhood in exchange would continue to have a vacant building right in the heart of our commercial landmark district and an eyesore," Schneider said.

While no signs currently exist on the facade of the 1914 building, signs have been at the property since 1928, long before any permit was needed, said attorney Thomas Moore, who represented VisualCast.

"He has a property right here that is being constitutionally abridged and it's damaging him," Moore said.

He said he will consider other steps in the permit process. The recourse options available include reaching an agreement at an informal conference or holding a public hearing on the matter.

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