OLD TOWN — About a year after an arson devastated the historic Noble Horse Theater, the FBI is ramping up its efforts to find out who was responsible.
The FBI is now offering $10,000 for information that could lead to an arrest, which is up from $5,000, according to a news release.
The early morning blaze on Dec. 6 at Noble Horse Theater, 1410 N. Orleans St. torched thirteen handmade horse carriages worth about $130,000 and left the building in serious disrepair. After an initial police investigation, owners of the carriages found messages like "Free Save the Horses" spray painted on the walls.
Police originally said the fire was not suspicious after their initial investigation on the morning of Feb. 6, but later said the DNAinfo Chicago story detailing graffiti discovered at the site prompted further review the following day.
"My whole business is gone, as far as carriages go," Jim Rogers, owner of Great Lakes Horse and Carriage, told DNAinfo Chicago at the time.
A developer now wants to tear down Noble Horse and build a mixed-use development in its place. Built in 1871, Noble Horse is considered the city's last remaining riding hall.
The FBI is encouraging anyone who has information about the fire to contact police or the FBI at 312-421-6700.
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