After almost three decades, Lake View neighbors are saying "Goodbye" to three iconic statues on Elaine Street.
Two huge giraffe sculptures and one goat made from polished chrome bumpers were removed from their pedestals Sunday, according to ChicagoPride.com. Chicago developer Milton Zale reportedly sold his portfolio of Elaine Place properties to Chicago Apartment Finders who weren’t interested in purchasing the artwork.
And neighborhood residents flanked by the sculptures are anything but happy. The three sculptures designed by artist John Kearney in 1978 had become a small landmark in Lake View, and residents say they’ll miss the iconic statues.
“So sad to see those go!” wrote Lake View resident Ann C. on the community forum EveryBlock. “My husband used to take our daughter when she was a child to see them on their daily walks, she would always want him to pick her up so she could touch them.”
There’s even a Twitter account associated with the giraffe sculptures, and residents have been chatting with the distraught statues since news broke of their removal.
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“How can we help save us????” a Tweet from the account reads. “We heard Mr. Zale (our owner) offered to let us stay and the new owners said no!”
However, according to new owners Chicago Apartment Finders, they’re equally as concerned about the statues. They wrote a short statement in response to accusations from neighbors that they purposefully removed the statues after purchasing the property from Zale Management Company.
“On behalf of Chicago Apartment Finders we would like to let everyone know that we are just as concerned as you about the statues and we would like to get the facts out there and let you know the previous owner would not sell the statues nor indemnify them and that is why they are no longer on the property,” they wrote on EveryBlock.
A spokeswoman for Zale Realty told ChicagoPride.com that the three statues currently being restored and repaired, but it’s still unclear where the sculptures will end up.
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.