A Chance Encounter Assaf Evron and the Board President, Trinita Logue, were at a private party when the artist approached the Board President about an idea that he had to install a temporary collage of nature scenes on the windows of the 900/910 residential buildings. The idea was born from Mies van der Rohe’s own collages on paper that featured landscapes seen through the glass windows on his proposals to clients. Assaf wanted to make this same connection between art and architecture.

Special Challenges & Opportunities The Board of Directors while enthusiastic about the idea was also cautious about potential insurance liability and the limitations of the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Association’s Declarations and governing documents. Could a Board really support a project like this, and how would it really benefit the Association?

The piece would require residents to agree to allow a commercial vinyl to be applied to the windows of the private dwellings for a two to three-week period. The vinyl itself would restrict sunlight into the units and was recognized as an immediate deterrent for homeowners.

Funding for the project would be required and therefore the coordination of privately held events would be necessary. Could the artist raise the necessary funds to get this project started?

Management Makes All the Difference

The Property Manager immediately saw the opportunity to rebrand the identity of the iconic buildings in the architectural and art landscape, while also increasing the value of the asset.

Natalie Drapac, the building manager, went to work right away with the Board President scheduling private fundraising events in the homes of the residents. These efforts resulted in 75% of the project being funded with just three small private gatherings. Residents were eager to donate their time and talents to the project as well. Not only did residents dig into their wallets, but donated photography and drone coverage as well to the project.

With funding in place, Management concentrated on lowering expenses for the project by negotiating with vendors. There was a concerted and collaborative effort with one particular vendor and Management, as both wanted to see the project happen. The installer was able to save costs by using in-house equipment verses renting a lift or hanging from a swing stage which provided significant savings for the project.

Management also drew upon relationships with long-term contractors of the Association to contribute financially toward the project. In exchange for the generosity of • 847.301.7505 | 51

those contractors, Management was able to offer unique advertising. Vendor logos were placed on project flyers that were distributed all over the City of Chicago and on the Facebook event page along with #collagesat900 and an Instagram page.

Good News Travels Fast

The Board decided that to make the most of this opportunity, the assistance of a public relations firm would be needed. 900/910 quickly solicited bids and selected a partner to navigate the social media and news coverage for the Association. The objective of 900/910’s Board of Directors was to focus the narrative on not just the artist, but the collaboration between the artist and the residents. Residents were sacrificing the quality of their apartments for the sake of art – that was the real story.

THE STORY WAS A HIT! The public relations firm was successful in getting the Association coverage in Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, on WBBM Radio, Chicago Gallery News, World-architects, etc. Most importantly, it enhanced the pleasure and contentment of homeowners living in an iconic building.

The End Result

The impact of this very special project on the values of the condominium homes is yet to be seen, but the lasting effects on the residents and art scene is priceless. At the unveiling event held at the property in the fall of 2019, residents were overwhelmed with pride. The Association’s homeowners are excited to look forward to the next possible project!

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