In January 1998, Chicago's mayor, Richard M. Daley, returned from a trip to Paris brimming with inspiration. After viewing the lovely architectural lighting in that city, Daley told the newspapers that he wanted to illuminate the downtown area of his city.
Enter Tracey Dear of Dear Productions. The LD was working as head of the lighting department of the House of Blues in Chicago, but was looking for a change from the music industry. He made some calls, and eventually ended up on the