Apr 25, 2023 - News

Juice WRLD and Frankie Knuckles murals destroyed in West Loop

Photo of a mural on a viaduct
The Juice WRLD mural near Hubbard and Green Streets in 2021. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

The Juice WRLD mural in the West Loop that's served as a shrine to the late Chicago rapper vanished last week.

What happened: Block Club Chicago first reported that the popular mural, plus the neighboring mural honoring house music pioneer Frankie Knuckles, were mysteriously painted over with brown paint.

Photo of a man standing in front of a brown wall.
The same viaduct on April 24, 2023. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

The backstory: Artists Corey Pane and Chris Devins created the mural in the back of a vacant parking lot on a viaduct off Green and Kinzie streets in 2020.

  • Since then, Juice WRLD fans have traveled from all over the world to view it, and to place candles and other items at its base.
  • The Chicago hip-hop artist died of an overdose during a FBI raid of his plane in December of 2019.

The intrigue: No one has come forward to claim responsibility for removing the mural.

  • The city's Streets and Sanitation Department told Block Club they didn't do it. Union Pacific, who owns the viaduct, also is unaware of who painted over the murals.

What they're saying: Ald. Walter Burnett told Block Club that there have been complaints about people partying around the murals.

  • "They litter in the area, disrupt the residents, park all over the place," Burnett said.

Be smart: There's some legal precedent when it comes to destroying public art, and Union Pacific told Block Club it's illegal for anyone to trespass on their property.

The bottom line: A spray painted message on the lot in front of the destroyed mural is all that remains of the site.

Photo of spray paint on a parking lot.
Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to the color the city Streets and Sanitation Department uses when painting viaducts and buildings.


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