Lakefront Painted Beauty — 5* Pix


20121028-Fall Lkfrnt_280


20121028-Fall Lkfrnt_277


20121028-Fall Lkfrnt_271


20121028-Fall Lkfrnt_291

Total Shots taken 44
Number Acceptable for Future activity
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 6 (13.6%)

(updated 6/15/14, identifying the mural painter)

Every time I pass by this painted restroom that graces Chicago’s South Lake Shore Drive, I smile. I smile because of the colorful spectacular statement that it makes, just by being there; I smile because of the individual images that make it up: I smile because of the people depicted in the door images have smiles in their eyes; I smile because… just because.


I don’t know the story behind the story of this restroom facility. What i do know is that the muralist is local artist Jeff Zimmerman.  Otherwise some of my questions are:  What is the story being told? How were the artists selected? How were the images selected? What do they depict? What is the significance of the X and O on both ends of the structure? I just know that over a period of a few weeks, what started out as a pale green building, first transitioned to white, with images outlined, then was transformed into this colorful, image-filled structure.


It was a beautiful fall day – big puffy clouds dotting the blue sky. A clear day where you could easily see the city skyline, and whitecaps on the lake. With that kind of day, it was hard NOT to get some decent images, so I hope you enjoy these 5* selections:

  • Ladies First – On the south face of the rest room, in the arched doorway is a vivid image of a smiling woman. The large image is framed by smaller images of children (top) and grayscale images of men in western dress (left and right). The grayscale images remind me of older black and white photos – cowboys? Perhaps looking for gold?  I love the fact that it is such a clear day that you can see the skyline in the far distance.
  • West Face – In Flight – Birds are featured prominently on the sides for the restroom art-scape, in this scene, with images of a dog and a fish on either side of the birds.
  • The North Face – In this collection of contrasting images on the north face of the rest room, it is interesting that the man gracing the arched wall of the men’s side of the restroom is surrounded by flowers. The contrast is striking – you’d almost expect to see the women accented by the flowers and birds – but these artists broke that “expectations” barrier. I love the birds, they seem to be on the lookout; one bird looks at the bike/running path, the other one looks at the road. The deep chocolate brown of the male in this image just glows, the handsome face and smiling eyes provide a visible counterpoint to the image so often portrayed in the local news reports.
  • East Face – On the east facing side of the restroom, images evoking historical scenes, a Native American leader with a towering headdress, the hand seemingly holding a piece of gold (gold rush?), the bird in profile on the north end.

This outing, I focused on this singular building. Every time I pass it by – walking, jogging, on the bus, or in my car, it gives me a sense of joy, and I smile, glad that it graces our lakefront. Hope these images of this 5* structure make you smile too.


P.S. If any of the readers, know the name of the artists, let me know and I will update this posting.

One thought on “Lakefront Painted Beauty — 5* Pix

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