The graffiti wall on 53rd Street has been an artistic outlet and medium for a generation of Hyde Park and South Side artists.
First, a little basic history on the ongoing permission wall behind the Mobil gas station in Hyde Park. We always called it “the Mobil wall,” “53rd Street” or the “Hyde Park wall.” I started that wall in 1992.
The graffiti wall behind the Mobil station along 53rd Street has operated in the grey area between legal and illegal since the early ‘90s. But for the bulk of that time it has been a generally low-conflict zone where talented street artists can practice painting, memorialize a friend or make a statement.
When demolition begins on the Mobil station on 53rd Street later this summer — to make way for the Vue53 development — the whole site will be leveled. That includes one of the most varying and accessible artistic venues in Chicago.