Request for Proposals: City Square Sculpture- Joliet, IL

  • Commissioning Entity

    City of Joliet, IL

  • Application Open Date


  • Application Deadline Date


  • Minimum Budget


  • Maximum Budget


  • Location of Commission

    Joliet, Illinois, United States

  • Geographic Eligibilty

    Applicants in country of installation

  • Contact Name

    Raymond Heitner

  • Contact Email

    [email protected]

  • Contact Phone

  • Commission Document

    View Link Document

  • Brief Description

    DUE DATE: 4:00 PM, CST, ON FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2024
    All communications related to this RFP must be in writing and directed to the following contact: [email protected]. The deadline to submit questions via email is 2:00 PM, CST, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

    Questions will be answered in the form of an addendum and posted on the City of Joliet’s website at the link below for the listed RFP #:

    The City of Joliet announces a request for proposals (RFP) for a signature sculpture installation at City Square, which is a new 1.3-acre urban park located within the 100 block of N. Chicago Street, directly across from the Rialto Square Theatre. City Square will be a catalytic transformation of underutilized, publicly owned space into a vibrant gathering place to the heart of downtown Joliet. We are seeking a unique sculpture that will act as a centerpiece to the City’s much anticipated public square. The sculpture should be reflective of Joliet’s culture and diversity.

    Background Information

    Downtown Joliet
    Joliet is the third-largest city in Illinois, with approximately 150,000 residents. Joliet has long been a regional center, with the downtown being the chosen location for the Will County Courthouse and its subsequent replacements since the County was established in 1836. Multiple railroad lines, the Des Plaines River, and state highways have shaped downtown Joliet’s historical and physical development. As a result, downtown Joliet was and continues to be the “Crossroads of Mid-America.”

    Downtown Joliet is a truly unique place with a tremendous amount of assets, including: rich heritage, solid architectural character, regionally significant uses, major entertainment and cultural attractions, and a vital rail and bus transportation network. The downtown is a tourism mecca and attracts regional, national, and international visitors traveling the Historic Route 66. America's first national highway, the Lincoln Highway, which runs through downtown Joliet along Cass Street, crosses Route 66 at the intersection of Chicago Street and Cass Street. The downtown also includes entertainment venues such as the historic Rialto Theater, Forge Music Hall, Duly Health and Care Field, Joliet Area Historical Museum, Joliet Public Library, and coming soon, the upcoming Illinois Rock 'n Roll Museum.

    Downtown Joliet has a very successful special events program, directed by the Joliet City Center Partnership, which draws thousands of visitors for events scattered throughout the year. Downtown Joliet is an urban place with a city's size, scale, and character. New appeal, new attractions, and new investments are required that align with what people want from a downtown area. The characteristics of downtown Joliet make it an ideal candidate to be reinvented in a meaningful and impactful way to become a very successful authentic urban center for the southwest suburban region. With the completion of both the Chicago Street reconstruction and City Square projects, the Chicago Street corridor is poised to become once again one of the southwest suburban region's most vibrant urban spaces, well-loved by the community, and a memorable destination for tourists.

    City Square
    City Square will transform an underutilized 1.3-acre, publicly owned space into a vibrant gathering area in the heart of Downtown Joliet along the historic Chicago Street corridor. The City Council approved conceptual design for City Square in September 2023 and this design includes a central green space, a main stage, "red carpet" pavement connecting the Square to the Rialto Square Theatre, a family gathering area with smaller stage, water features, unique lighting, seating nooks, and space for large–scale public art. See Attachment A for the final concept design and perspective views and visit for additional information and images.

    Chicago Street Chicago Street is downtown Joliet's historic central spine and the original path of Route 66 as it made its way through the heart of the city. Chicago Street is flanked by Illinois Route 53, which runs northbound along Scott Street and southbound along Ottawa Street; therefore, Chicago Street is not a designated truck route. As such, the street offers a sense of tranquility in contrast to the much louder and busier roadways to the east and west. Chicago Street is also one of our region's most beautiful historic streets.

    While many wonderful old buildings have been lost and new design patterns were introduced in the postwar years, the street has never lost its urban scale and charm. As a result, Chicago Street continues to be home to most of the downtown's dining and small retail options, catering to our diverse demographics in and around downtown. Additionally, major events during the summer and fall months that welcome thousands of guests are centralized on Chicago Street, underscoring its significance as the spine of downtown. Together, City Square and its companion Chicago Street Reconstruction Project will activate the revitalization of Downtown Joliet.

    Sculpture Requirements

    The RFP is open on a national level to all professional sculptors. Interested artists should have demonstrated the capacity to create and install three-dimensional artworks that are innovative, unique, and highly visual.

    Sculpture Design Specifications
    The sculpture shall be installed at the location identified on Attachment B. The designated area for this sculpture is 20 feet wide in diameter. The City will install a 20-foot wide in diameter concrete pad upon which the sculpture will rest. The City will provide lighting to illuminate the sculpture. The City may have the ability to provide customized lighting for the winning design. Water will not be available at this designated location.

    The proposed design shall meet the following specifications:
    • The top of the sculpture may extend outside of the designated area; however, it shall not in any way be closer than 10 feet from the Holiday Tree, the location of which is also shown in the commission document. • The view of the sculpture must be dynamic from 360 degrees, both up close and from a distance. • Due to its high visibility and easy public access, the sculpture must be fabricated with no dangerous edges or protrusions, be inaccessible for climbing, and have a coating that protects it from graffiti vandalism. • The sculpture shall not include water features. • All media and materials must be durable and suitable for Illinois’ variable climate (including salt and ice melt).

    The artist will need to work closely with the City of Joliet staff to further conceptualize the project, including determining preparation of the site, lighting needs, structural capabilities, city code adherence, and the method in which work will be installed.

    Please see commission document link for full project information and submission instructions.