It’s been said there are two seasons in Chicago – “Winter and Construction”. At Focus we are keenly familiar with both. During the summer of 2014 Focus, with its co-developers, Shapack Partners and Atlantic Realty Partners, were gearing up for the “construction” season and to start work on the first luxury apartment tower in Fulton Market.
The Parker, located on Halsted between Lake and Randolph, was slated to take the place of the historic Chicago Wholesale Hardware and Fish Market building – forever changing the face of the Fulton Market district. With that change in mind, the Parker team recruited local Chicago street artist, Don’t Fret, to make his mark on the building before it was demolished. The anonymous artist painted the entirety of the building which included 4 large-scale murals and created works from the now abandoned materials inside the warehouse. After 2 months of work, Don’t Fret, turned the now vacant warehouse into a working gallery for two weeks at the beginning of August 2014.
The gallery show, aptly titled “Winter and Construction” was painted directly the walls of the old Chicago warehouse and embodied the Fulton Market neighborhood. “Growing up in Chicago, I spent a lot of time in the West Loop. Some of my first painted were done illegally in the middle of the night along Fulton Market Street, while the meat packers sprayed the street clean of blood similarly to how the city would spray my work clean off the wall days later.” It was this deep rooted attachment that made Don’t Fret the obvious choice, “I feel this mural had to pay tribute to the types of businesses and people that have lined Fulton Market’s streets for the past 100 years… The people who make Chicago look like what it looks like.”
Shortly after the show opened, the hardware store was demolished to make room for the new bullet shaped, luxury tower, however, the development team preserved much of Don’t Fret’s art, which now hangs in the corridors and lobby of the Parker. The artwork enhances the interiors of the buildings and gives a taste of the history of the vibrant Fulton Market neighborhood.
Learn more about Don’t Fret and his work here.