THE LOOP — The group that wants to light up the L tracks above Wabash Avenue will test a pilot version next week near a Loop hotel.
The "Wabash Lights" project, a product of a nearly $60,000 Kickstarter campaign, will debut its "beta" version at 7 p.m. Thursday on the stretch of Wabash near the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., project co-founder Jack Newell said Friday.
The prototype is the beginning of what the Wabash Lights group hopes will be a $3 million to $5 million project lighting up the L tracks above Wabash, a major Downtown thoroughfare that has historically lacked the glitz of neighboring Michigan Avenue or State Street.
The plan is to string the Wabash lights from Madison to Adams streets. Seth Unger, another project leader, hopes the pilot lights will give the project enough visibility to raise the rest of the funding the team needs.
"We think there is an opportunity to ... take the next year or so as Beta test is up to raise the necessary funds to get this off the ground," Seth Unger, another project leader, previously told DNAinfo Chicago.
The duo has received approval from the city, which is looking at ways to make Wabash into more of a Downtown destination. A new L station is set to open at Washington and Wabash next year.
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