Vandals Strike Harold Washington Statue, Damage Estimated at More Than $10K
CHICAGO — Damage to a statue of former Mayor Harold Washington is likely to tally between $10,000 and $18,000, said the director of the South Side cultural center that bears his name.
The statue, located in front of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Drive, features the city's first black mayor making a statement, fiercely thrusting his finger toward the ground to make a point.
But someone has defaced the statue, removing the front panel of its base, which included a plaque commemorating the former mayor, who died in office in 1987. Police issued a community alert Sunday, and said the incident occurred sometime Saturday night.
Jimalita Tillman, executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center, said the destruction to the statue is particularly hurtful, coming as the nation prepares to mark Martin Luther King Day and the president's inauguration.
"The vandalism is disheartening on this historic day for our nation," she said. "We will work to repair it swiftly as to keep the morale of our young people up."
Police do not have a suspect, and asked anyone with information to call Area South detectives at 312-747-8380.