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222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL, 60654


Chicago's honorary brown street signs, days, and commemorative honors; the who, what, where, when and why.  Honorary Chicago guide book, maps, biographies, history, trivia, tours, and gifts.

New Rules for New Honorary Signs in Chicago after February 2017


New Rules for New Honorary Signs in Chicago after February 2017

Linda Zabors

In the February 2017 Chicago City Council meeting strict restrictions were made to the 1984 ordinance which set forth the process of dedicating an honorary street in Chicago.


The changes are as follows:

  • Each ward is limited to 2 new honorary street designations per year

  • The cost of the honorary sign production, installation, and removal will be paid by the Ward

  • Each new honorary street will be marked by only 2 honorary signs

  • Signs can only be installed on an existing sign post

  • No honorary designations can share the same segment of street

  • The proposal must contain a map of the blocks to be dedicated (minimum 2 continuous blocks on the same street)

  • Living people are not eligible for honorary streets

  • The honorary street name cannot be the same as an official street

  • The proposal must contain the biography and reason for the the dedication and the name cannot be

  • If the proposal is rejected the named party cannot be reconsidered for one year

  • Designations expire after 5-years (renewable for an additional 5-years) after which the sign is to be removed



  • 2 new honorary street designations per Ward per year regardless of the geographic size or population of the Ward

  • Street segments are exclusive to a single designation

  • The honored individual must be dead

  • Signs are limited to a renewable 5-year term


  • Unrestricted number of signs and designations bestowed

  • Multiple honorary designations allowed per location

  • Installed for an indefinite length of time

  • Opaque qualifications for selection

  • People can be honored during their lifetime


With the new restrictions the City will have a maximum of 100 new honorary streets per year (50 Wards allowed 2 new honorary designations each).

Editors note:
In 2016 there were 85 new honorary street designations
15 wards had more than 2
16 wards had zero

The 5-year expiration date applies to existing signs

Process for approval and FAQ

Source: City Ordinance, February 22, 2017