A sign of the times … mask appears on Thomas Jefferson statue
by BRIAN NADIG
One of the community’s most recognizable landmarks was modified this week when someone put a mask on the Thomas Jefferson statue at the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Call it the “new normal,” as “Tom”now fits in with the typical commuter wearing a face covering as part of the fight against the coronavirus.
Perhaps the mask will be removed by the time this article is published, but for at least a short time the statue served as a reminder of the challenges facing not only Chicagoans but the world as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the health and social and economic welfare of society.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the installation of the life-size bronze statue. A dedication ceremony with the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, former alderman Patrick Levar, former state representative Joe Lyons and other officials was held on July 23, 2005.
The statue cost the chamber about $70,000, which included the fee to South Dakota sculptor Edward Hlavka. The statue depicts Jefferson with a pen poised over the “Declaration of Independence,” and Hlavka’s attention to detail allows passers-by to read the famous document.
The chamber’s statue committee was chaired by Nadig Newspapers’ publisher Glenn Nadig. The chamber, which donated the the statue to the city, held a “Nickels for Jefferson” fundraiser at area stores and also had a time capsule buried near the statue.
The statue was installed as part of a larger renovation project of the CTA terminal and adjoining Metra station.