Winnetka BridgePublic Art
The design for the Winnetka Bridge is a tribute to Charles Weeks, a visionary and early developer of this area. A founder of Winnetka, Illinois, he came to the San Fernando Valley in 1920 at the invitation of the Chamber of Commerce with a utopian vision of self-sustaining farms. His development was called Charles Weeks Colony.
Four rectangular medallions are embedded in the pylons at the ends of the bridge railings. They are made of porcelain enamel on steel, a highly durable weatherproof material that allows for beautiful reproduction of full-color artwork. Three medallions are approximately 42.5” high by 36” wide, and one is 42.5” high by 50.5” wide. The designs are simple and colorful, easy for passersby to enjoy. Each medallion has a short text drawn from Weeks’ theories which he published in a regular newsletter and also a book called One Acre and Independence.
Each medallion represents an aspect of Weeks’ formula for a successful self-sustaining farm. The graphic style is like early 1900s illustration to give it an historic feel and the color scheme is earth toned golds, greens and browns.
- Chickens – egg sales were a commercial venture of the Colony
- Pear – Weeks encouraged that the farms have espaliered fruit trees on lattice fences surrounding their boundaries
- Bee – each farm raised bees for their honey
- Tribute to Charles Weeks – an historic photo of Charles Weeks and his son showing the importance of family. This medallion is slightly larger mounted on a larger pylon.