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Electronic Billboard at 35th and Halsted Lights Up Complaints

By Casey Cora | July 19, 2013 7:47am
 A new electronic billboard at 35th and Halsted streets has residents complaining.
A new electronic billboard at 35th and Halsted streets has residents complaining.
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DNAinfo/Casey Cora

BRIDGEPORT — A new electronic billboard installed at one of the neighborhood's busiest intersections has residents aglow with complaints.

Words like "eyesore" and "crap" are being tossed around on neighborhood Facebook pages to describe the bright new LED sign atop the building at 756 W. 35th St., a two-story terra cotta structure that once housed a Walgreens pharmacy and doctors' offices.

Today, it's home to a chain bedding store and a strip of businesses including 312 Vintage Guitars, Monster Island Toys and Chef AJ's Carry Out

The sign, which faces southwest, hasn't bothered the wait staff — at least the daytime crew — at the kitty-corner Bridgeport Restaurant.

"It doesn't really bother me. It's just sort of random," server Caitlin Fernbach said.

A landlord for the restaurant's building, which includes several second-story apartments, could not be reached for comment.

Larger LED signs like the ones that'll soon be placed near city expressways, are regulated by City Hall. But smaller versions have been popping up on buildings all across the city, prompting complaints from neighborhood after neighborhood.

A bid by the company that erected the Bridgeport sign and many others, GreenSigns Chicago, to install even more signs was thwarted by a handful of aldermen last month.

An ordinance calling for a moratorium on the signs until April 2014 sponsored by Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) says the lack of regulation "may not adequately address the unique needs and impact that these smaller dynamic image display signs may have, including their impact on nearby business districts, residential neighborhoods, and the quality of life for City residents."

Calls to GreenSigns Chicago and Ald. James Balcer (11th) were not immediately returned.

Reached by phone, a man who said he owns the building at 756 W. 35th St. said he'd only answer questions about the property in a written letter but hung up before providing an address where to send it.