We’d say that Harlem Avenue south of the Ike is surpassed only by Harlem Avenue north of the Ike as one of the most confused stretches of real estate in the region. A dumpy mix of houses, two-flats and uninspired commercial spaces — with a few vacant lots thrown in for good measure. This strip ought to be productive commercial but instead is just — whatever it is. And has been for as long as anyone can remember.

So what does this street need to give it definition and purpose?

A giant set of chattering teeth! Sticking out the side of a dentist’s office. Giant as in 6-feet tall.

So is this just a little fun and Forest Park ought to play along?

We get that this would make quite the impression for the children’s dentist office which is currently undergoing a positive expansion and is, frankly, about the best looking building on the strip. But what does Forest Park get out of this assault on its zoning and signage ordinances? A little cheap notoriety, a place on the list of Illinois “Attractions and Oddities.” We will join the Twistee Treat giant ice cream cone on I-55 down near Springfield and the Paul Bunyan statue at Lamb’s Farm.

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