Batcolumn: a Giant Baseball Bat in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a city known for its baseball. After all, we have two teams: the Cubs and the White Sox. So it’s no wonder Chicago is also home to a giant metal baseball bat titled Batcolumn (or Bat Column).

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

Batcolumn has stood outside the Harold Washington Social Security Administration Building in downtown Chicago since 1977 when it was commissioned by the U. S. General Services Administration’s Art-in-Architecture program.

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

It is the work of Pop artist Claes Oldenburg who was inspired by the skyline, skyscrapers, steel bridges, and all around architecture of the city. At the time, the big sculpture drew much controversy, with the city being accused of wasting taxpayers money and locals demanding it be torn down. Now, over forty years later, the work is a generally accepted piece of public art, if even noticed by busy city-dwellers at all.

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

A sign at the knob of the baseball bat says, “Oldenburg selected the baseball bat as an emblem of Chicago’s ambition and vigor. The sculpture’s verticality echoes the city’s dramatic skyline, while its form and scale cleverly allude to more traditional civic monuments, such as obelisks and memorial columns.”

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

While Batcolumn might not be the world’s largest baseball bat (that honor belongs to the 120 foot baseball bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Kentucky), at 101 feet tall it’s still impressively large. And, made of gray Corten steel in a latticework pattern, the giant bat blends right in to the towering skyscrapers that surround it.

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

Batcolumn is one of many public works by artist Claes Oldenburg. Others include Spoonbridge and Cherry in Minneapolis, Plantoir Garden Trowel in Des Moines (2011), Free Stamp in Cleveland (1991), Shuttlecocks in Kansas City (1994), and Houseball in Berlin (1996).

Batcolumn: a giant baseball bat in Chicago, Illinois

Batcolumn: a Giant Baseball Bat

Address: 600 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60661
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always Visible


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Chicago is a city known for its baseball. With two teams - the Cubs and the White Sox and a Claes Oldenburg's giant baseball bat Batcolumn (or Bat Column). Stop by on your Chicago weekend getaway or Illinois adventure to see this giant place to visit in Illinois.
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Chicago is a city known for its baseball. With two teams – the Cubs and the White Sox and a Claes Oldenburg’s giant baseball bat Batcolumn (or Bat Column). Stop by on your Chicago weekend getaway or Illinois adventure to see this giant place to visit in Illinois.

Valerie Bromann

Founder & ROad Trip Expert

Valerie Bromann is a a website manager, content creator, and writer from Chicago, Illinois (currently living in Dallas, Texas). As an avid road tripper who has visited hundreds of roadside attractions, Val always pull over for a world’s largest thing. Founder of Silly America and author of The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book, she visits, photographs, and writes about all the weird tourist destinations she visits and offers road trip planning advice and inspiration based on her own travels so you can hit the road for yourself.

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Last modified: October 13, 2022
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The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book - Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip! By Valerie Bromann

The Road Trip Journal & Activity Book

Everything You Need to Have and Record an Epic Road Trip!

BY Valerie Bromann

Enjoy fun games and challenges to pass the time on your next road trip and have a keepsake to look back on for years to come with this entertaining must-have for your next vacation.

The road trip you’ve been dreaming of starts here! Journal about your stops and get to know your fellow passengers with activities and exercises designed to pass the time and bring you closer together. Instead of “Are we there yet?” you’ll find yourself asking, “We’re there already?”. Complete with prompts you can turn to while driving between locations, this journal will one day be a memento of your life-changing trip.