Priorities

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As you’ve likely read elsewhere, this lovely terra cotta clad building at 79th and Halsted had its western parapet collapse onto the street at the end of January. The entire building was subsequently demolished by emergency order of the city.

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By the time I was able to visit on the following Saturday, there wasn’t a whole lot left.

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What there was to see, however, was heartbreaking enough. Terra cotta pieces worth untold amounts of money were being smashed into rubble along with everything else. No salvage efforts were in evidence.

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Beautifully sculpted terra cotta was going into the trash, along with brick, structural members, and everything else. Untold amounts of landfill, untold amounts of lost invested energy and material… and what do they save?

The Coke machine.

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Granted, it’s a real vintage piece of work, with a 1960s geometry design and a sum cost of ten cents for a soda. The only brand names are Coke and Sprite; the rest are labeled “Orange”, “Grape”, and “Strawberry”.

But still. We save the Coke machine, and toss this in the garbage?

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