all who wander are not lost

Sickening echoes of the Lost Lions of the Lee Plaza. The four “Comedy” faces that ring the roof of the Eastown Theater have all been removed. The last one to be removed was on the front corner, and that was taken in the last few weeks.

This photo is from December 12th, 2008. Note the circles with each intact sculpture.

This is my most recent of photo of the last remaining Comedy face – this was taken on March 31st, 2010. Two and a half months ago.

Now you see it, now you don’t. That was it – all four have been harvested.

Here is the sculptural work above the main entry, which should be safe from the hands of bastards.

William Shakespeare, looking a little distressed after the theft of the four Comedy faces.

Just because places like this become abandoned or even derelict, is never an excuse to allow the City of Detroit to be robbed of its architectural history – right under our damn noses.

11 Responses to Looting The Eastown Theater

  • If I were the owner I’d remove whatever piece was easily removable, even if it were only part to eliminate the value a theif might derive from stealing them.

    I could then either put them back or have the remainder removed at some later date when I had more money or a buyer.

    Has someone been up on the roof or in the building lately, they might be stacked in a corner.

  • This was no typical ’75 dented Chevy pickup, mouth-breathing, hand-to-mouth scrapper folk doing this dirty deed.

    First, the miscreant had to have the intellect to determine the value of an object that didn’t convey gas, water or electricity.

    Second, the scrapper’s primary tools (battery powered sawzall and sledgehammer) won’t work with this “job”. It would require much more finesse to cleanly sever the pieces. A diamond tipped saw blade (water cooled) would be the preferred method of removal.

    Third, architectural terracotta ornamentation probably is a wee bit more difficult to convert to cash at Honest Harry’s Salvage Yard. Last time I checked, they didn’t have current prices of terracotta reliefs and friezes on the chalkboard!

    dfunk, it would be interesting for someone to check out the actual sever marks of the terracotta. That could tell us the level of sophistication these scurvy weasels used…

  • It is possible that the owner did remove them from the building, but I suspect that it was probably stolen from someone else. Because so many people strip vacant properties for copper, bricks, etc. it’s not to strange to suspect that the owner did not do it. Either way, I wish we could reduce the blight in this wonderful city & restore things around here!

  • During the demolition of Lafayette some architectural features were rescued and survive to this day – some of them larger than these pieces. A crane need not be required, just enough guys with strong wills.

  • I too thought of and coveted those fleur de lis’ from the Laf. They had to have been salvaged, no?

    Wouldn’t it take power and a saw w/a masonry blade or is this just sledge work? That’s a pretty lawless neighborhood.

  • probly they got one of those balloon-tire dolleys (sp?) that you see people using to move heavy appliances like fridges & washers. with a couple dudes and a come-along, it would be possible to take something like that down a sturdy staircase.

    i had thought about doing that at the Lafayette when it was being demolished.

  • Yep, Kahnmans point is important, because if I were the owner and I wanted to take the decorations off, I would take the lower portion too.

    C’mon – I know SOMEBODY has been up on that roof – any signs of how they moved those mofos down ?

    Just might have to take a look up there myself to see what there is to see.

  • Sickening feeling. I don’t understand why our society has little regard for architectual heritage or adaptive reuse.

  • Also, the miserable curs left the lower half of the wreath and flourish – effectively cutting off the symmetrical balance of the faces!!

    Gahhhhh! This type of pillage makes my blood boil!

  • I think its possible that the owner did it, but I would think the owner would do what you suggested: Get a crane and take them all down at once. These were plucked one at a time. The roof access is between the four terracotta locations on the roof, and the staircase goes down to the apartment side of the building. That side is completely open at every possible window and door. Those things had to be extremely heavy, being almost solid terracotta.

  • How the heck did someone get those things off the roof? No way they were carried down by hand. Looks like you’d need a crane to get them down. Also, is it possible that the current owner(s) took them down?