LAKEVIEW — It is physically impossible to not know who’s moved into 3201 N. Ashland Ave.
From almost any angle at the intersection of Lincoln, Ashland and Belmont avenues, a gigantic sign hangs on a glass-paned facade. In renderings, it was a dark forest green. In reality, it’s a snowy white against the blue-green glass.
In letters 10 feet high, it declares the 75,000-square-foot store to be a Whole Foods Market. And as the largest Whole Foods sign in Chicago, it’s not likely to let you forget.
The sign has drawn surprise from some and criticism from others, who declare it to be “#tacky” on Twitter. Whole Foods promises that the light illuminating the sign will be off at night.
But just how big is the sign?
Whole Foods said it measures 35 feet wide by 25 feet tall, and store design and brand coordinator Christine Sturch confirmed that it is the largest Whole Foods sign in Chicago (inheriting the honor from the city’s largest store at 1550 N. Kingsbury St.).
Each letter is just under 10 feet tall, although the leaf design on the first “O” gives it an extra oomph of about 5 feet. Unsurprisingly, the “W” is the widest, spanning roughly 10 feet.
To put it in perspective, the letters are half as tall as the widely panned “TRUMP” sign plastered on the Trump Tower skyscraper Downtown. The Whole Foods sign also is one-quarter of the length of the five-letter Trump sign, which the president claimed “everybody loves” after it was installed in 2014.
A couple of well-known signs with letters much larger than those at Whole Foods Lakeview. [Flickr/Gnaphron/Facebook]
Neither sign is as tall as the “HOLLYWOOD” sign in Los Angeles, perhaps among the best-known signs in the United States. Each letter there is 45 feet high, dwarfing those at Whole Foods Lakeview.
Together, the words “Whole” and “Foods” stacked are half as tall as the Illinois Centennial eagle monument in Logan Square and the gold, six-pointed star used in the Chi-Town Rising New Years celebration.
The “O” in “Whole,” however, does clock in a smidge taller than Sue, the Field Museum’s Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. The sign as a whole is also 2 feet taller than Millennium Park’s 33-foot Bean.
Closer to home, the letters are about the same height as the ivy-colored wall at Wrigley Field.