Media Alert



Mural Design Rendering


April 2, 2013

Illinois Lincoln Highway Interpretive Mural in Chicago Heights, Illinois

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition is proud to announce that the City of Chicago Heights, Illinois will be receiving the 33rd mural in the Coalition’s series of Interpretive Murals.  This mural is scheduled to be installed April 3, 2013 weather permitting, at 137 East 14th Street, on the Chicago Heights Water Department. These large scale works of public art can be found along the 179-mile Illinois byway corridor, in over two dozen communities.

This mural is painted from a vintage photograph depicting the McEldowney Bridge that once crossed Thorn Creek in Chicago Heights and Henry C. Ostermann, the Lincoln Highway Association Field Secretary. Ostermann crossed the bridge at least twice a year inspecting the Lincoln Highway across the country.  Chicago Heights is known as the “Crossroads of the Nation” where the Lincoln and Dixie Highways intersect making it an important stop on the Lincoln Highway. A special element in this mural is the “L” sign. It’s painted in red, white and blue, and is a three-dimensional piece attached directly to the mural surface, which contributes greatly to the stunning visual of the black and white image.

As the designated Scenic Byway management agency overseeing the Lincoln Highway National Scenic Byway, the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition (ILHC) continually seeks ways to recognize the significance of the highway and make the historic stories come to life for visitors.  After receiving a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism, Attraction Development (TAP) Grant, ILHC has worked with the artist, Jay Allen owner of ShawCraft Sign Company, to create the interpretive mural series. The murals are valued at $10,000 each.  Every mural is a hand painted, unique work of art.  Upon completion, the series will be one of the largest works of public art in the country.

Each community receiving a mural is asked to designate representatives to work with ILHC on the project, as well as secure a building site for the mural, research the stories and images that link their community to Lincoln Highway, and agree to provide maintenance and preservation of the mural.
The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition’s multi-site mural project showcases the history of the early highway, bringing the intriguing stories into people’s lives so they can recognize its impact on American travel and the communities. The creation process is truly a mutual effort of local communities and historians, along with a gifted artist and the ILHC, producing the murals in such a way as to draw the visitor in and share in the Lincoln Highway’s wonderful heritage.  Upon completion of the mural project, a comprehensive piece will be developed highlighting each interpretive mural and the 16 ILHC interpretive gazebos, including a map and description of each.

For more information on the Illinois Lincoln Highway, places to see and things to do, and to download an Illinois Lincoln Highway Visitor Guide, visit

Media Contact:

Susan Hronik, Program Director
Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition
200 South State Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
Phone: 815-547-3854
Fax: 815-547-3740