Photos: Logan Square's Dazzling Christmas Light House Has A Working Ferris Wheel
By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 17, 2015 5:44PM
Updated Monday, Dec. 21, 2015: The owner of the house and architect behind the dazzling display gave us a call to discuss his creation.
The Logan Square home above might be the only seasonal wonder of the world. Every winter, dating back to 1983, owner Frank Lopez has put up a Christmas light display—complete with a miniature, moving Ferris wheel with stuffed animal riders—that casts a glow over the whole 2500 block of West Logan Boulevard.
“The reason I do it is because I see so many people, so many kids, they pass by over here and I have music on, and I see all their smiles," Lopez told Chicagoist. "I enjoy that.”
So do local families. We spotted a dad taking a photo of his preschool-age kid in front of the house on a recent evening; the kid looked almost confused by how hard he was smiling.
When TimeOut Chicago reached out to Lopez in 2010, the then 77-year-old widower also said that he had been raised by stern parents. “I never had much of a childhood like most little kids enjoy so now I enjoy the holidays like I’m a kid.”
Children often drop off letters to Santa at Lopez's house, he told Chicagoist—a totally logical choice if you're 7. Lopez used to actually go to kids' homes and deliver what they asked for, provided they left return addresses.
However, he now gets so many letters that he can't afford full Santa service. Currently, he only responds to a few letters “with a little something.” ("Little" is subjective, though; he said he just gave one letter-writer $100 for a new winter coat.)
Lopez told Chicagoist that every decoration in his yard—from the lit-up herd of deer to the Eiffel Tower replica—was made at his workshop, Chicago Wire Design Company, which he's owned since 1973.
His home electric bill for a holiday season, he added, can reach a little over $1,000. He plans to take down this year's light display on January 6.
He's earned a break. Just before his Christmas display, he had up a Halloween light display that attracted about a thousand kids, he said. It had spooky music, fog machines—the whole nine yards. Clearly, Lopez knows how to celebrate every kind of holiday.