Giraffe, Goat Sculptures Removed for Insurance Reasons
The iconic Elaine Place sculptures in Lake View were taken down because the cost of insuring them was too high. Ald. Tunney said he’s working to bring them back the neighborhood.
The iconic giraffe and “nanny goat” sculptures near the corner of Roscoe Street and Elaine Place were removed from their pedestals because the cost to insure them was too high, officials with Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) report.
Director of Community Outreach Erin Duffy said the ward’s office received many concerned phone calls about the statues being removed. And while she reported Ald. Tunney was working closely with the artwork’s owner Milton Zale to bring them back to Lake View, the reason behind the removal came down to insurance payments.
“When Milton sold the buildings (at Elaine Place) to Chicago Apartment Finders, they didn’t want the artwork because of insurance reasons,” Duffy said. “He was basically giving the statues to them for free, and they didn’t want them. So now he’s refurbishing them, and while he would like them to go back to their original place, Tom’s still working on it.”
The three sculptures designed by artist John Kearney in 1978 had become a small landmark in Lake View, and neighbors are anything but pleased about their removal. Kearney is also the sculptor behind other major works in Chicago, including Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scare Crow, Dorothy and Toto in Oz Park in Lincoln Park.
However, according to Director of Property Management Kimberly Carr, Chicago Apartment Finders are equally as concerned about the sculptures. They wrote a short statement in Patch’s comments in response to accusations from neighbors that they purposefully removed the statues after purchasing the property from Zale Management Company.
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“Chicago Apartment Finders tried to have the Kearney statues conveyed at closing, but the previous owner elected to have them removed,” Carr wrote. “We are aware and sensitive to the concerns from local neighbors and community groups and we are doing everything in our power to have the statues returned to their rightful position.”
Ald. Tunney wrote on his Facebook wall that he’s currently in talks with Zale about returning the statues to their locations, or at some other location nearby in Lake View. The giraffes and goat are being refurbished for the next month.