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The Legacy Project Chicago – Bronze Memorial Photo Plaques

October 8, 2012 Bronze Plaques Plaques

“It’s rather “off-the-scale” actually.  Beyond my best expectations.  You all did a beautiful job.”  – Victor Salvo, Founder and Executive Director of The Legacy Project

The Legacy Project is a series of historic bronze plaques and kiosks on Halsted Street in Chicago. It is an educational and architectural project showcasing the extraordinary achievements of notable LGBT  people in history, whose stories have been mostly untold. The project is the first of its kind, anywhere in the world. To learn more, visit  The Legacy Project.

Here is an excerpt from an article in Windy City Times, describing Impact Signs involvement in the historic project:

“As a Chicagoan, it was a pleasure to work on this project. It’s a great blend of history, education, and architecture. We’re grateful that we were selected to work on this historic project,” said Shabbir Moosabhoy, co-owner of Impact Architectural Signs.

Victor Salvo, founder and executive director of the Legacy Project said, “What struck me was that Shabbir, even though he isn’t from our community, loved the Legacy Project and instinctively understood why it was important. He was willing to go the extra mile to help us develop a project that was years away from realization. That he stayed with us and offered whatever advice and help he could—including having a terrific mock-up made for us to use to market plaque sponsorships, without having a contract up front—is a testament to his ability to see beyond the paperwork and appreciate the uniqueness of the project and the larger opportunity it represents for everyone involved. His graphic assistant, Jesus Perez, couldn’t have been more helpful.”

For more information, please read the following press release regarding the project.


A perfect blend of typography, balance, and history:

Here are the final plaque layouts, designed by Jesus Perez, of Impact Signs

Bronze Photo Plaques in Production – A Step-by-Step

The First Step:  Graphic design, typography, plaque layout, and photo editing – the design is everything. The plaques could only be as good as the design!

Victor Salvo, and Shabbir Moosabhoy collaborating, and reviewing final plaque layouts, and approving for production. Bronze plaques are forever, so the design stage is a critical step in the process!


The plaque designs were then replicated in a dimensional polymer mold and clay sculpture for the photo relief (this is a proprietary process). The mold is then given to the foundry, where it is cast in a sand mold (hollow)


Pure bronze ignots, melted at 2600 degrees, was then poured into the sand castings


This is the raw bronze photo plaque, after it cooled, and the sand casting was removed. It was then sandblasted, to remove debris


Another image of the raw bronze plaques, moving through coolling and sandblasting


This is the plaque with background color dark oxide finish paint applied. Raised letters and border will then be sanded, revealing the bronze finish

Plaque with background color paint applied. Raised letters and border will then be sanded, revealing the bronze finish

A proprietary hand rubbed, dark oxide stain on the photo relief adds texture, depth, and character to the portrait

Hand rubbed, dark oxide stain on the photo relief adds texture, depth, and character to the portrait

The plaques were then belt sanded, hand finish sanded, buffed, and coated with a polyurethane clear coat, ready for the Windy City winters (and summers!)

Finishing of bronze photo relief plaque with satin finish and diamond shield clear coat

Victor Salvo inspecting the final bronze plaques at Impact Signs before they are installed on the kiosks on Halsted Street!



And Some Detailed Images of the final plaques, installed in their place on Halsted Street:


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Written by: Shabbir Moosabhoy    Edited by: Shannon Fry

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