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Iconic Giraffes, Goat Sculptures Removed from Lake View (PHOTOS)

Neighbors aren't happy about the removal of three huge sculptures on Elaine Street after a property transfer to Chicago Apartment Finders.

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. 

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Kimberlee Carr November 13, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Chicago Apartment Finders tried to have the Kearney statues conveyed at closing, but the previous owner elected to have them removed. 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.
Heather M. November 13, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Here is another link on the story. I hope something is worked out and they are returned to their rightful home. http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/missing-lakeview-one-goat-two-giraffes-103794
Milton Zale November 15, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Dear Residents, Business Owners, and People of East Lakeview, Like every one, we are deeply saddened by the recent removal of the giraffe sculptures from Elaine Place this past weekend. After 41 years in the community, we have a deep-rooted emotional attachment to the community; of which the sculptures have so visibly been a part of since 1978. The fact is we never intended, nor wanted, to remove the sculptures from Elaine Place. Not only was the removal process costly, but, more importantly, the wonderful pieces of art we have all admired are now absent from the neighborhood. During the contractual phase of the property sale, we offered to leave the sculptures for free. This offer was rejected. The buyers insisted that the statues were to be removed. In the third amendment in section B of the purchasing agreement, it clearly states “Seller, at its sole cost and expense, shall remove the three Jack Kearney statues, a goat and two giraffes, from the Property prior to closing.” The partners, affiliated with Justin Elliot, of Chicago Apartment Finders, signed this agreement. Elaine Place, the properties on it, and most importantly, the people residing there have been such a huge part of our lives for many, many years. It is with great sadness and disappointment that we were forced to take away such vibrant symbols of the community. We sincerely hope that a resolution can be reached to return the sculptures to where they belong.
garry albrecht December 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
So, any more developments on this story?

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