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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Dragon Snow Sculpture With Glowing Eyes Delights In Lincoln Square: A ‘Very Fun Thing That Brightened Our Day’

The Lincoln Square dragon has become quite popular on social media, with one person calling it the “crown jewel of Washtenaw.”

Alexis Hoffman and Warren Window on Feb. 4, 2021. They're standing next to the snow dragon they created in the in the 4900 block of North Washtenaw Avenue.
Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN SQUARE — When the weekend’s heavy snowfall finally stopped, Lincoln Square neighbors who ventured out into the cold were surprised to see a dragon had taken up residence in the neighborhood. 

The beast is made of ice and snow and is resting on its belly in front of an apartment in the 4900 block of North Washtenaw Avenue.

Sarah Bockting-Conrad and her 7-year-old son were walking past the dragon Monday night and at first didn’t realize it was there.

But then her son noticed the dragon’s glowing yellow eyes. 

“It was such a strange thing. When we stepped back we realized this wasn’t just another mound of snow from people shoveling the sidewalk,” Bockting-Conrad said. 

Credit: Provided by Alexis Hoffman and Warren Window.
A dragon made of ice and snow and is resting on its belly in front of an apartment in the 4900 block of North Washtenaw Avenue.

Bockting-Conrad snapped photos of the dragon and posted them online. Since then the dragon has become quite popular on social media with other people sharing their photos of it and one person on Twitter calling it the “crown jewel of Washtenaw.”

Lincoln Square couple Alexis Hoffman and Warren Window created the dragon when they were shoving the sidewalk in front of their apartment building during the first of the heavy snowfall Saturday.

“I wanted a snow beast,” Hoffman said.

Credit: Provided by Alexis Hoffman and Warren Window.
Warren Window shaping the dragon from the snow pile in front of his apartment building Jan. 30, 2021.

As the snow kept on piling higher, she told Window the lumpy snow pile in front of their apartment had the rough outline of what looked like a dragon. 

“It was already kind of there, we just carved away whatever wasn’t dragon shaped,” Window said. 

As the snowfall continued, the couple kept making the dragon sculpture bigger and adding more detail. 

“We were out here shoveling and helping our neighbors shovel. And we actually took a lot of their snow and threw it on here too once we decided we needed to go bigger,” Window said. 

Hoffman even headed to a garage down the block where she previously noticed large icicles — she wanted icy spikes to form the scaly spine of the snow dragon.

“I was standing in the alley like five houses down grabbing icicles from the garage door. They have no idea who we are and the garage door opens ….” Hoffman said. “I told him I needed the icicles for my yard dragon.”

The couple also placed small, battery operated tea lights in the sculpture’s eye sockets to give the dragon its distinctive gaze. And they’ve been periodically touching him up throughout the week.

Credit: Provided by Alexis Hoffman and Warren Window.
A dragon made of ice and snow and is resting on its belly in front of an apartment in the 4900 block of North Washtenaw Avenue.

They watched at least 10 families take photos of the dragon with their kids, the couple said. 

“Neighbors’ creativity is really a respite for all of us while we’re still home during this pandemic,” said Maggie O’Keefe, president of the Lincoln Square North Neighbors. “It’s always fun to go take a walk and find a new surprise in the neighborhood.”

Bockting-Conrad also appreciated the dragon sculpture because she’s pretty limited in where she can take her son during a pandemic. The cool sculpture is only a few blocks away and it’s a fun outdoor thing for families to visit when they have so much downtime at home.

“It was just this very fun thing that brightened our day,” Bockting-Conrad said. “It’s a really exciting thing to see during an otherwise dreary time of year. And the artistry of it is really impressive.”

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