Unnecessary! Expensive! A waste of my tax dollar! And frankly, not that attractive [Big metal thing or work of art? News, Feb. 13].

Susie O’Brien

How can
Oak Park can spend this incredible amount of money on these “Big metal things” and not buy salt to clear the streets to keep people safe? I think the village has their priorities seriously mixed up.

Cindy Todd

Evidently the budget crisis is over. It seems that the village may have figured out a way to plug the gaps. Or perhaps it is spending like this that causes the gaps in the first place.

Brian Keyes

$0 for salt.

$220,000 for a
Forest Park theater group.

A big metal disposable razor to marked Oak Park Arts District.: Priceless.

Tony Minntillo

I’m thrilled there is a concerted effort to make this area a viable commercial success. It’s great seeing new restaurants and shops open and thrive.

When I read about signs for the arts district, I thought it was a great idea! However when I saw them, I was aghast. They look like robots with scoliosis! A growing vine might help, but for what-four months out of the year? This particular design might work in an industrial area, which this is not.

Can we return them?

Gail Grasso

I have not seen the “gateway structures” yet, but I find it appalling that the
Village of Oak Park is spending money on something that is not a necessity when our streets and alleys are a mess. I understand that money has been allocated to build up the art district, but infrastructure should come first. It is embarrassing to live in a town as wealthy as Oak Park and have streets that you would expect to see in some rundown little town. They want to fine people for not shoveling their walks, but they cannot even maintain the streets. I also cannot believe they give people grant money to fix their garages. It sounds like the village has too much money. The people who run the village of Oak Park continue to do it poorly. But I guess if they knew how to run a business, they would be doing it in the private sector. Sorry for ranting; I just paid my real estate taxes. 

Glenn Compton

Does anyone else feel that this is a complete waste of money? OK, I am all for public art, but I think TPAB could have found something a little more artistically interesting for the area. Maybe as Mr. Huff hopes they’ll look better in the summer, but what about next winter?

Anne Endres

My wife and I recently moved to
Oak Park and love the neighborhood. Oak Park is known as a quaint community long associated with artistic and aesthetic endeavors. It seems highly unlikely that the community, let alone any person entering the town, would need to be reminded of this fact. Yet, driving home one evening, I recently found a most ugly red albatross labeled with glowing letters: ARTS DISTRICT. I thought that Frank Lloyd Wright would just roll in his grave.

These “structures” are both unnecessary and ill-conceived. A town that ostensibly caters to the arts does not need a sign declaring an “ARTS DISTRICT.” Further, a community known for one of
America‘s most beloved architects should have a greater responsibility to maintain the aesthetic integrity of the surroundings. These “red beasts” are hardly the forms of nature that Wright had envisioned when practicing “organic architecture.”

Dan Steinman

Wow! I really like the big metal things on Lombard & Harrison Street in the
Harrison arts district.

I have criticized some of the village’s past projects-the new garage, library and the 750 kw of heating for the snow melting system on the new mall-but the new art district signs are far out! I really dig them. They put me in a ’70s state of mind. Lakota and the
Village of Oak Park did this right.

Keep up the good work.

Chris Dowse

Living near the arts district, I find these structures neither attractive nor offensive; they are innocuous. However, I would have preferred the money be spent on something that benefits the community; for example, plowing the side streets and alleys during the snowstorm would have been a much better use of community funds.

Michele Carlson

Big metal thing? $260,000 worth of pure unadulterated crap.

What the hell is that? It looks like a 3
Mile Island disposable razor-or no, maybe like the 5-inch snow scraper thingy they handed me at Enterprise car rental the other day. In my apparent dismay, the clerk commented, “Well, it’s not worth much and it’s not going to do you much good, but at least it has our name on it.”

Oh no, it’s a big butterfly bandage; see the resemblance? Oh what a waste of money. Our taxes hard at work again. How much did those things cost? Think about it. Send them back. The placement is ridiculous. How would you like to wake up on a snowy morning and see that out your window? Did a part fall off of a snow plow? Are the “others” sending us their space junk? We spent money on that? On those pieces of junk? And so many of them? What clutter, what crap.

Donna Suriano

Join the discussion on social media!