New neighborhood identifier for Forest Glen celebrated by Forest Glen Community Club, Alderman Nugent
by BRIAN NADIG
The Forest Glen Community Club and Alderman Samantha Nugent (39 th) held a Nov. 22 ribbon-cutting in celebration of the new neighborhood identifier along the top of the railroad viaduct at Elston and Forest Glen avenues.
The brown and white lettering that was painted on both side of the viaduct’s top says, “Forest Glen,” a simple message that will serve a landmark for the community, said resident Jennifer Nykaza-Zwagerman. She serves on the club’s mural subcommittee along with Monika Walczak, Veenu Verma and Francine O’Connor.
The project was years in the making and complements the community gardens near the intersection and the existing murals that run along the viaduct’s side walls. The viaduct’s first set of murals was painted 20 years ago, followed by new ones in 2014 that were designed by artist Cyd Smillie of Arts Alive Chicago.
The subcommittee raised about $3,600 for the neighborhood identifier project in addition to securing a $10,000 city grant. Right Way Signs was then hired to design and paint the sign across the Metra bridge.
The font on the lettering resembles that used on the signage on the former Forest Glen train station, Nykaza-Zwagerman said.
While the murals and adjoining gardens already created a focal point for those traveling through Forest Glen, the new signage helps create “a better sense of identity for the neighborhood,” Nykaza-Zwagerman said. Forest Glen, which adjoins the larger Jefferson Park, is a relatively small community that is primarily bordered by Cicero Avenue, Elston Avenue and the Forest Glen Woods.
In addition, Smillie recently did some touch-ups to the viaduct’s “After Vivaldi” mural, which depicts different seasons.