Man paints over rainbow stripe on Elgin house
The rainbow stripe that resembled a symbol of gay pride on an Elgin house is no more.
Painter Joshua Martin said he was given a Thursday afternoon deadline by Church of the Brethren Inc., which owns the house at 923 W. Highland Ave., to paint over the rainbow. Otherwise, he'd be banned from the property and never hired again, he said.
So he painted it white. "They just said 'paint over with anything,' so I did," he said.
Martin said he'll figure out later what final color will go well with the rest of the house, likely a dark lavender, he said. "(The rainbow) looked pretty cool. I don't like painting over my own stuff."
The rainbow was painted after a money dispute between Martin and Brad Miller, who lives next door to the house on Highland Avenue.
Church officials had given Martin creative license, so he chose to paint a rainbow stripe. He said he knew it would irk Miller, but also insisted he would have painted it anyway.
The rainbow came in seven colors, not six like the gay pride flag, but that association "is fine by me," Martin had said.
Miller said he disliked the rainbow because it clashed with the house's historic nature. He called the rainbow a "vendetta" by Martin.
Marvin Greener, the church's director of buildings and grounds, declined to comment Thursday.
David Steele, the church's general secretary, didn't respond to questions. He previously said the church wanted the house to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood.
The white stripe covering the rainbow "definitely isn't with the historic character of the house," Miller said.
As for whether he's satisfied with the church's decision, "I wouldn't really know until I see the end result," he said.
Several houses painted by Martin and his business, Josh's Painting, have been recognized in the Chicago's Finest Painted Ladies & Her Court competition, an exterior painting contest. Martin had hoped the rainbow would remain untouched at least until the next competition in September.