Chicago Art Institute Turns ‘L’ into Royal Transit

By Bob Marshall 

When I first moved to Chicago, I lived off of the Addison stop on the CTA Red Line. It didn’t take me long to learn the following tips and tricks of riding the famous Red Line route on the Chicago ‘L’:

1. The Addison stop located next to Wrigley Field is flooded with vomit and tourists all summer long.
2. The Wilson stop is known for its lack of businesses near it, homeless people, people who will rob you and the smell of urine and fecal matter.
3. You generally avoid de-boarding on the route south of the Chinatown/Cermak stop, unless you’re going to a White Sox game. There is danger.
4. Sometimes people get stabbed on the train. This causes massive delays.

Just like the New York Subway, the ‘L’ is, by no means, a glamorous experience (it can also be very smelly). But, the folks at Energy BBDO and the Art Institute of Chicago are trying to add some class along those perpetually rotting train tracks this spring. To promote the institute’s latest exhibit, “Kings, Queens and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France,” select seats on the Red Line will be transformed into replicas of Renaissance-era thrones.

Passengers are encouraged to snap photos of themselves seated on the thrones and post them to the Art Institute’s Facebook page for a chance to win a private tour of the museum and a stay at the Palmer House Hilton. For an even more authentic 15th century experience, you can follow @CourtierRobert on Twitter to hear Olde English pop culture references. With the new Superman movie filming here this summer, it’s time for the Second City to get a much-needed shot of self-esteem. Hopefully, this royal treatment will also serve as a Cubs vaccine, too.