New sculpture unveiled at the Fairmont

Texas-based husband and wife artists build newFairmont sculpture 

A 1,200 pound, 10-foot copper patina panel featuring some of Chicago’s greatest historical achievements was recently installed at the Columbus Dr. entrance to the Fairmont hotel.

The piece was conceived and built by Dallas-based sculptor Brad Oldham and his wife, artist Christy Coltrin.

img_2183c“Christy and I tell stories through sculpture,” explains Oldham. “This is a story we wanted to tell for the Fairmont Hotel about the history of Chicago.”

The couple has completed “about eight” projects for Fairmont parent company, Strategic Hotels. Many of them appear in downtown Chicago. Oldham credits their collaboration for the success.

“We both sort of concept and work on the design together,” he explains. “She’s more of a writer and I’m more hands-on. I sculpt and handle the fabrication and installation.”

Along the way, Oldham has grown to “love” the Windy City.”

“Chicago is built on the backs of broad shoulders,” he says. “It is a beacon in the United States.”

— Daniel Patton SPACER03-01

FedEx Office at Illinois Center introduces eBay Valet Drop-Off Program    

Consumers looking to make money on eBay from their unwanted clutter but unwilling to go through the bother of selling it themselves can take advantage of the eBay Valet Drop-Off Program now available at the FedEx Office store in the Illinois Center.

The eBay Valet Drop-Off Program, a recently formed partnership between eBay and more than 1,600 FedEx Office locations nationwide, builds on eBay’s existing Valet Program. 

efed0001-01Under the eBay Valet Drop-Off Program, sellers are able to bring items worth at least $25 to a participating FedEx Office store. The eBay Valet Drop-Off Program accepts items from a “limited number of product categories,” according to a Business Wire news release. indicates that top-selling items include electronics,  musical instruments,  antiques and collectibles,  high-end clothing and shoes, sporting goods and small appliances.

“Consumers can even sell bulky items  — like golf clubs — alleviating the hassle of packing them up,” said Shawn, an assistant manager at the Illinois Center FedEx Office, who describes the service as “set it and forget it.”

According to Shawn, once customers drop their items off at FedEx Office, a team member will securely pack and ship the items to an eBay Valet. The eBay Valet will then photograph, list and sell the items. Once an item sells, the Valet will ship the item to a buyer. Unsold items are returned free of charge, typically within one week after the auction closes.

“Customers have to have a PayPal account,” to participate in the program, he added.

The service costs nothing for sellers upfront. On each item sold, FedEx and eBay will share a commission ranging from 20 to 40 percent. 

In addition to professionally packing and shipping items, FedEx Office team members can help new eBay users set up their accounts and research comparable prices to get an estimated value for their items.

For more information, visit FedEx Office, 111 E. Wacker Drive, (312) 938-0678,

— Shanti Nagarkatti


New paved pedestrian path extends from Lancaster to Lake Michigan   

There is a new paved pathay providing direct route to the Lakefront Trail. Previously, pedestrians would access the lake by walking on an unpaved gravel path adjacent to the empty lot behind Lancaster.

— Angela Gagnon


Wacker Drive street closures in effect

According to a memo issued by the Magellan corporation, McHugh Construction implemented street closures on Upper Wacker Drive due to Wanda Vista Tower construction on Friday, October 28.

Details and a graphic overview of the modifications are listed below. The closure will be in effect for the duriation of the construciton.Construction is expected to be completed in 2020.

  • Upper Wacker east bound lane will become a two-way street (currently a one-way turnaround).
  • Upper Wacker going west (north side) will be closed from the turnaround to the Columbus light.
  • Wacker ramp up from Mid-Wacker to Upper Wacker will remain open, but no left turn allowed onto Columbus. Must continue west bound on Upper Wacker.
  • Wacker ramp down to Mid-Wacker will remain open (one will be able to take a right from Upper Columbus to the Mid-Wacker ramp).
  • New traffic pattern striping and road barriers will be installed.
  • All busses will be rerouted to Columbus Drive.
  • Access to The Coast and the North Road (between Swissotel/Aqua/Coast) will also remain open. One can now take a left from North Road on to Upper Wacker to exit west bound.


Lack of lighting on LSE park stairs — residents concerned   

The New Eastside News has received multiple reports of inadequate lighting for several flights of stairs connecting Lake Shore East Park to Harbor Drive.

According to local residents and property mangers, the darkness on the east of the Lake Shore East Park may even be responsible for an alleged assault and robbery of a pregnant woman by a group of young males who pushed her to the ground as she exited the elevator and then robbed her of her cell phone.

img952419cA nearby building manager stated that police were notified of the alleged incident but did not find sufficient cause for an investigation.

The manager further stated that several attempts to identify exactly who or what is responsible for maintaining the lights had been made, but to no avail.

Besides the City of Chicago, the manager reported, a handful of building management and real estate companies had been contacted, but none claimed responsibility for the structure.

New Eastside News’ confirms that at least three of the five flights of stairs do not appear to provide sufficient lighting. The way is not only unfit for pedestrians, the investigation concluded, but it is also for domesticated animals.

“I saw a man try to take his dog down the steps,” said Matthew Reiss after reviewing the area. “And the dog wasn’t having it.”

Three separate property managers confirmed that the structure is not the responsibility of the companies for which they work. Each of the managers stated that they were aware of the situation and had also made attempts to find a resolution.

“I just want the lights fixed,” wrote New Eastside resident Chris Galvin, who originally notified New Eastside News of the problem.

Update: As of November 3, the lights have been fixed.

— Daniel Patton

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