The project is to design and construct a temporary winter cover for the fountain and basin at the intersection of Ashland, Milwaukee and Division streets in Chicago. This fountain, named in honor of Chicago writer Nelson Algren, has sat with a deteriorating and unceremonious plywood cover for many years.
Our proposal here is to create a design that would be in the spirit of Algren’s gritty and realistic portraits of the immigrants, bartenders and hustlers of his northeast Chicago neighborhood – Wicker Park and Bucktown. We are proposing to construct a series of steel frames that can be mounted around the fountain basin and faced with portraits of the people of the neighborhood. Each year a day of photos will occur allowing anyone to participate and adding themselves to the fountain cover. Over time, the design will reflect the current and changing nature of the neighborhood and will champion the everyday working people of the city.