Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Chicago monuments under assault, Part Ten: Illinois Centennial Monument

Illinois bicentennial flag on

Three years ago Illinois marked its bicentennial. Did you know that? I'm not surprised if you didn't. In 2018 there wasn't much to celebrate. Illinois was well into its streak of annual population losses, one that continues to this very moment. And the Prairie State--thanks to the malfeasance of Boss Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), the speaker of the state House for all but two years from 1983 until two months ago--has been bankrupt-in-all-but name for more than a decade. 

There is no Illinois Bicentennial Monument. But in Chicago's Logan Square Park stands the Illinois Centennial Monument, a Doric Greek column on a base with reliefs of farming, industry, Roman gods, explorers, and Native Americans. It's likely that those last two is why the un-transparent Chicago Monuments Project as one of the public artworks, in their words, "promote incomplete, distorted, or harmful views of history."

Click here to see the monument. 

In 1918 Illinois had much to be proud of. One-hundred years earlier much of that state, particulary the northern half, was wilderness. At the time of the Illinois centennial the Land of Lincoln was one of America's most-populous states and it was still in the midst of decennial double-digit increases in population growth. It was a leader in manufacturing and agriculture and Chicago, which wasn't incorporated until 1833, was one of the largest cities in the world. 

The monument was designed by Henry Bacon, whose greatest work is the Lincon Memorial in Washington. The reliefs were carved by a woman, Evelyn Longman. Diversity advocates plese take note!

To comment on the monuments "under review" please visit the Chicago Monuments Project "Feedback page." Please be polite but firm in your comments. 

Please Tweet this post. When you do so use the #ChicagoMonuments hashtag.

Related posts of mine at Da Tech Guy

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