E2 Makes Downtown Evanston More Colorful

The E2 apartment building made a splash when it opened in Evanston in 2015, and now it’s adding a splash of color to the suburb’s downtown.

E2 developer Fifield Realty has unveiled an expansive new piece of art on the side of the building by Albany Park muralist Thomas Melvin.

Eee-tu’ (What Redwing called to Drake) 1890 Maple Evanston Illinois (photo by Steve Somen, courtesy of Fifield Realty)

The painting is called “Eee-tu” (What Redwing called to Drake) 1890 Maple Evanston, Illinois, and is an abstract depiction of its home city.   Interpreting the names off artwork is almost an art, itself.  But we can tell you there is a red winged blackbird on on end, though we see no evidence of a drake on the other.

There’s also a stylization of the CTA’s Purple Line L, which makes sense since the train runs just a few blocks away, and the mural reflects the city.

It’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and a great way to enhance the face of a parking garage.  Now if every parking garage in Evanston could get on board, we’d really have something.

Press release follows the photos.

Downtown Evanston Gifted Colorful New Mural on South Side of E2 Apartments

EVANSTON, Ill.  — Downtown Evanston, Ill. is looking a bit brighter as Fifield Realty Corp., the owner of Evanston luxury apartment community E2, has announced the completion of a mural across the south facade of the building, visible from Oak Avenue, University Place and Maple Avenue. The mural is by Thomas Melvin, an artist on Chicago’s North Side who has specialized in the design and execution of original murals and decorative painting for more than 40 years.

Titled “‘Eee-tu’ (What Redwing called to Drake) 1890 Maple Evanston, Illinois,” the mural features a modern design that offers a broad portrait of the city of Evanston. According to Melvin, the mural turns the once dreary alley into a welcome destination and represents the city’s colorful setting.

“’Eee-tu’ is an abstract portrait of Evanston, with grasses and water as the frames to represent the prairie to the west and Lake Michigan to the east,” said Melvin. “Observers might recognize the Grosse Point Lighthouse and city’s overall character, but they will be drawn to the blend of vibrant colors, perhaps the foliage, cattails and birds at street level, and the geometry of the structure as a canvas, which provided a unique backdrop for the painting.”

Melvin’s work can be seen all over Chicago and the United States, and includes the City Science Mural at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago; the 24-panel Mississippi River Tales Mural along the Mississippi River floodwall in historic downtown Cape Girardeau, Mo.; and murals on the west and east stairwells of the Lake Forest Library, a historic landmark in Lake Forest, Ill.

“We wanted the south facade of E2 to come alive, so we commissioned an artist whose work we knew would reflect Evanston’s one-of-a-kind setting and energy,” said Randy Fifield, chairwoman of Fifield Realty Corp. “Thomas Melvin offered the best vision for our goal, and his custom mural is Fifield’s gift to downtown Evanston and the residents of E2.”


Location: 1890 Maple Avenue, Downtown Evanston

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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