Let me preface this by saying: I hate tagging. Simply put, it’s vandalism. Doesn’t matter to me how talented you are, if your drawings are on someone else’s building, or water tank, or train car, you’re a vandal.
Ditto trespassing. Partly because I’m too wimpy to risk getting caught, because there are places everywhere I’d love to sneak into for a photo or 60. But it’s not my property, I have no business being there without permission, so I stay away.
This rant is related to the W. M. Hoyt Company Building at 465 W. Cermak Road in Chicago’s Cermak Road Bridge District. Built in 1909, it sits empty now, save for the spray painters who stop by to add to their work. It’s become something of a Taggers Paradise, and I have to admit, it looks pretty darn cool.
On July 20 of this year, the City of Chicago filed a demolition permit for the water tank atop this building. (The address is listed on the permit as 2210 South Grove Street: it’s the same building.) This was a “character tank,” a designation bestowed by me on any tank that stands out from the others, usually because of how it’s been painted. This one had been tagged more times than the slowest runner at recess. I really wanted to get on the roof before they dismantled it, but, you know, trespassing. And fear of heights.
I made it my mission to photograph the tank from as many angles as I could before it was gone. I didn’t know it at the time, but that gave me until August 13; that was the morning I looked out the window and saw that most of it had been attacked by the cutting torch.
August 13 was also the morning I discovered the water tank at 1882 South Normal Avenue had been taken down. That came as a surprise, since I’ve yet to find any permit allowing that demolition.
Do you have photos of the now-demolished Chicago Water Tank at 2210 South Grove Street? I’d love to see them. Send them my way, and let me know if you’d like me to post them here on Building Up Chicago.