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Chicago, Illinois: Batcolumn

A 101-foot-tall upright baseball bat made of latticed steel. It's been here since 1977, sculpted by Claes Oldenburg (1929-2022).

600 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL
Just west of the midtown Chicago Loop, on the northwest corner of W. Madison and N. Jefferson Sts.
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101 foot tall baseball bat sculpture by famed pop art icon Claes Oldenburg. Found in front of the Social Security building.

[Diane Woodworth, 02/26/2017]



It's not another gadget from Batman's utility belt, but a large sculpture -- 101 feet tall -- of a baseball bat pointing toward the sky. It was created by Claes Oldenburg, and when it was dedicated in 1977 some people protested that it was an expensive joke. According to its dedication plaque, Batcolumn was meant to be "an emblem of Chicago's ambition and vigor." Given the holes in the bat's mesh-like lattice, it might also be interpreted as symbolic of the way fastballs whoosh through the bats of Chicago's professional baseball teams.

[John Takao Collier, 01/02/2016]

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