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Monday, March 9, 2009

Missing Medallion

Anyone see the terra cotta medallion that belongs to this building at 2952 Martin Luther King Drive? Since it's been missing for a year now, perhaps the search should start in Chicago or Phoenix.

A local search would be fruitless since dealers of architectural antiques are not required by city law to maintain records on purchases that would help catch a thief -- like a driver's license or photo ID, photograph of artifact in place showing its original location and proof that the seller had legal permission to remove it. I wonder if that lack of requirement dates to the tear-em-down days of the 1970s when so many buildings were falling so quickly that city government barely tried to regulate the demolition binge. Now it's hard to explain why we don't have basic laws governing the sale of what often are stolen artifacts.


Unknown said...

One Sunday afternoon I was working on the third floor of my residence when I heard a series of loud banging noises coming from the ground level. I ignored the first couple, but the third caused me to feel vibrations in the floor which made me think that the noise was actually from something involving my home. I looked out the window, and to my surprise, saw a man removing the cast iron stars off of the side of my house!

I ran down the back staircase and went flying around the corner into the alley where I confronted the man face to face. Yes, dumb move, but I did. He was fairly startled by my abrupt and unexpected appearance and explained that he had seen a number of work trucks in front of the home over the last several days and just assumed the building was undergoing renovation and was vacant. Oh...I see, so that makes it ok to help yourself to architectural details??? I was so angry, I demanded my stars back and in the process also recieved additional stars and an alarming number of old door knobs from someone else's residence (which must have truly been vacant).

I called the police. They did nothing. Between this incident, the theft of copper and other artifacts, and now the apparent theft of a GIGANTIC medallion off the front of this poor building, I think it's about time the city step in and actually do something about this.

Mark Groth said...

A good place to start would be the antique row on Cherokee. I've seen many building artifacts for sale in these places.