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Graffiti Is Everywhere, But Some Neighborhoods Hate It More Than Others

By  Mina Bloom and Tanveer Ali | August 24, 2017 5:51am 

 Graffiti on the Logan Square Monument (clockwise from left), a brick wall at North and Artesian avenues and a vacant building at 2427 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Graffiti on the Logan Square Monument (clockwise from left), a brick wall at North and Artesian avenues and a vacant building at 2427 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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Courtesy/Leor Galil; DNAinfo Chicago

LOGAN SQUARE — In a big city like Chicago, graffiti is everywhere. But some neighborhoods get more love from cleanup crews than others. 

The 1st Ward, which includes parts of Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, West Town, Logan Square and Humboldt Park, has seen more graffiti cleanup than any other ward in the city in the last two years, data shows.

The city has removed graffiti 232,000 times from Aug. 1, 2015 to  July 31, 2017, according to city data.

Of that amount, 15,398 graffiti removals have come out of the 1st Ward — the most of any ward in the city. The 14th Ward, which includes parts of Archer Heights, Gage Park and Brighton Park, is a close second with 15,389 graffiti removals.

The 12th Ward, which includes parts of McKinley Park, Little Village, Brighton Park, Douglas Park and Back of the Yards, comes in third with 15,074 graffiti removals.

Each graffiti removal case starts with a complaint filed with the city through its 311 system.

Find how often city crews take down graffiti in your ward below:

A vacant one-story building owned by Mark Fishman Co. at 2427 N. Milwaukee Ave. tops the 1st Ward's most-tagged list. Fishman didn't respond to a request for comment.

Last month, vandals scrawled a botched version of a Ludwig Wittgenstein quote in bright orange spray paint on the Logan Square Monument. With help from conservation professionals at the Art Institute of Chicago, crews removed the graffiti within two days.

The Art Institute is involved with the conservation of 17 historic monuments, including the Logan Square Monument. It's unclear how much the Art Institute spends on graffiti removal. Neither the institute nor the city provided exact figures.

In 2015, the city spent about $4.23 million on graffiti cleanup. In 2016, the city spent about $4.87 million. By the end of 2017, the city expects to spend $4.86 million to fight graffiti, a 14.7 percent increase from two years ago.