Pilsen’s Plaza Tenochtitlan to get a facelift

May 24, 2012

Pilsen’s Plaza Tenochtitlan is about to get brighter and greener.

On Thursday, Ald. Danny Solis (25th)  announced a plan to revitalize the plaza, at the intersection of 18th Street and Blue Island, with lighting upgrades, landscape improvements and public art work.

“I am proud of the plan we have in place to continue to revitalize the 25th Ward while celebrating its unique culture and history. Specifically, the upgrades to the Plaza will maximize economic development opportunities for local business tenants, shoppers, and visitors alike,” Ald. Solis said in a statement.

Much of the work will center on the plaza’s obelisk, which is a monument that was a gift from Mexico City.

“[The plaza] is a fairly bland, rather colorless environment,” said Jon Pound, executive director of Chicago Public Art Group.

His organization will be responsible for brightening the base of the obelisk as well as the planterns and benches with a series of mosaics.

“The mosaics will relay the importance of Mexico’s independence and relate it to today, with more colors and new textures,” said Pound.

The group plans on utilizing the talents of Hector Duarte, a muralist and artist whose works have used dramatic displays of monarch butterflies, a theme Pound said will be present in some of the enhancements.

“The goal is to enhance and add to the greening of the Plaza site.  The mosaic planters will not only serve as pieces of public art, but will feature native and seasonal planting,” said Ald. Solis.

The alderman also said he’ll look at improving the pedestrian space, and that an analysis will examine limited vehicle use and protected bike lanes.

The work is set to start May 30 and continue throughout the summer.