18th Street Sun Stones

18th Street from Throop Street to Paulina Street, Chicago, IL 60608

Twenty bronze medallions depicting the Aztec Sun Stone decorate 18th Street’s sidewalks from South Throop Street to South Paulina Street in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The medallions were installed in 1999 as part of a streetscape project by the Chicago Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Aztec Sun Stone is a monolithic sculpture measuring nearly 11.8 feet in diameter. It was created during the reign of Moctezuma II (1502 to 1520), and depicted the Aztec’s ideology and understanding of the cosmos. Following the Fall of Tenochtitlan, the stone was placed at the base of the Tenochtitlan’s Templo Mayor (main temple). It was ordered buried in the mid-1500s and rediscovered in 1790 during excavation for a public works project in Mexico City. The stone is on display at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City and is one of the most potent symbols of Mexican identity. 

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