LITTLE ITALY — It's not exactly ghoulish, but Kevin Skarbek said a pumpkin left next to the site where he is building a home on historic Bishop Street is "rude and classless."
The large pumpkin popped up over the weekend next to his lot at 829 S. Bishop St. It was painted with the words, “When size matters ... McMansion Pumpkin.”
Many neighbors have referred to Skarbek's plan for his home as a "McMansion." He plans to build a home much larger than the row home that had been there, and the home will eventually interrupt a string of front yards that are all set back from the street.
“At first I kind of chuckled about it," Skarbek said Tuesday. "But what I really didn’t want is for people to think I put it out there. If I was going to do that I would have bought a much bigger pumpkin.”
But he criticized how far his critics have taken the fight.
“They’re at the point of putting pumpkins out,” Skarbek said. “To me, it’s very rude and classless.”
Later Tuesday, Skarbek's next-door neighbor, Paul Fitzpatrick, said his wife decorated the pumpkin, which actually sits on his yard to the north of a fence surrounding Skarbek's lot while the new home is being built.
"I meant it as a good gesture," Carrie Fitzpatrick said. "He likes big houses, so I thought he'd like a big pumpkin. I spent a lot of money on that pumpkin, and if it backfired, I'll feel really stupid."
The Fitzpatricks are parties to a lawsuit, filed after Skarbek razed the old home last month.
The next hearing for the case is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.