Located on Division Street between California and Western Avenues, (also known as Paseo Boricua) there sits a half mile plot of land at Humboldt Park. There, you’ll find rows of towering 60-foot Puerto Rican Flags. In what’s sure to be a historic move for the Puerto Rican community of Chicago, the Chicago Commission on Landmarks recently voted to approve and designate the steel Puerto Rican flags erected in Humboldt Park as a historic landmark.
The vibrant flags were initially placed in Humboldt Park on June 6, 1995, also known as Three Kinds Day, a highly celebrated Puerto Rican holiday. Designed by architecture firm, DeStefano & Partners, they purposely used steel in order to honor the Puerto Ricans who first came to Chicago to work in steel and welding industries. The flags now serve as a celebrated piece of civic art and a reminder of the strong Puerto Rican community in the Midwest. The flags are able to withstand 70 mph winds and weigh a total of 50 tons each. Multiple events take place throughout the year under these celebrated flags as the area tries to preserve its cultural identity within Chicago. If the landmark status is awarded, will mark a major milestone after state leaders started to push for a state-designated cultural district dubbed “Puerto Rican Town”.
This passing vote was just the first step in the landmark process as the decision to make the Puerto Rican flags a landmark still has to be reviewed threefold. First, the city’s planning department and the City Council zoning committee, then it also has to pass a vote by City Council. If the city is to sign off on the designation, the flags will be the first and largest project to get landmark status in Chicago.
Address: Division St., from North Western Ave. to North California Ave., Chicago IL 60622