ChicagoNorth Side

Big blue thing on Armitage provokes anger, horror, disbelief, ridicule

by Joe Zekas on 11/4/11

I stopped at 741 W Armitage Ave / 1970 N Burling St this morning just long enough to take a few pictures and hear a sampling of area residents’ reactions to the big blue thing you see pictured above. They ranged from disbelief to anger to horror to ridicule.

One woman had the following to say: “I can’t believe the owner wants to advertise that he has the smallest penis in Lincoln Park.” Another called it “the ugliest house in Lincoln Park” and a guy on a bike laughed about “the shack on top of the house.”

Several people noted that the big blue thing overhung the north and east sidewalks onto the public way.

If people followed through on the plans they expressed, Ald. Michele Smith‘s phone was ringing steadily this morning.

The building permit has the owner’s emergency phone number on it – but the number doesn’t exist, and public records do not show John Novak with a connection to the owner’s address shown on the permit.

ADDED: Lots of commentary on this at EveryBlock, and more at ABC 7 and NBC 5.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

nwzimmer November 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

wow, that is perplexing. a shame too, I’ve been walking by this place a lot during it’s 1 1/2 year construction (!), and it looked to be an incredible place!


STARCHY November 7, 2011 at 6:54 PM

John Novak is head of Novak Construction – no doubt the general contractor on the project


Joe Zekas November 7, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Building permit, above, describes him as the owner, as I noted.


Eric Rojas November 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I like the sculpture. That block has always been a little dull, boring with little to look at.


Jason Ridgeway April 2, 2014 at 12:36 AM

I worked on this project doing all of the plumbing, Heating and Cooling. The house is by far and away a great house inside and out. You may not agree with someones choice in Art but if you want to talk about tasteless lets talk about some of the comments you include in this article??


Sheridan B April 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

It looks like a Delft Blue Windmill!


zack October 5, 2015 at 5:17 PM

THat house is beautiful, and so is the art work.


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