THE LOOP — How much would someone pay for a giant Chicago fire hydrant designed by former Van Halen rocker Sammy Hagar?
Well, you can find out Wednesday when Hagar’s Tiki-themed hydrant and 100 others that have been on display around town since September as part of the Great Chicago Fire Hydrants public art exhibition go up for auction at the Hyatt Regency.
The 101 five-foot-tall fiberglass hydrants decorated by celebrities and artists — one for each Chicago firehouse — were on display at Navy Pier, downtown hotels, restaurants, plazas and shops like “Cows On Parade,” the city’s hugely popular 1999 public art campaign.
Nationally renowned artist Paul Collins, who designed the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize Medal and the NASA space shuttle emblem, designed a fire plug.
So did the band Fall Out Boy, the cast of "Chicago Fire," Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin and 12-year-old Bela Quintas, a self-taught painter from Plainfield, among others.
On Tuesday night, the 101 Club will auction off some of the hydrants to raise cash that ultimately gives spouses of fallen cops and firefighters $50,000 plus up to $20,000 a year to send their kids to college — a 100 Club of Chicago tradition since 1966.
And the rest of them will be hawked in an on-line auction that starts at 10 a.m. Thursday and runs until 8 p.m. Sunday.