Monday, October 27, 2008
Ding Dong, Orisha's Dead!
Some residents along 55th Street near Harper Ave. were awakened at 7:26 AM on Saturday morning by the sound of heavy machinery. But this cacophony was welcome, because it heralded the long-awaited end of a neighborhood eyesore.
Straddling the border between the 4th and 5th wards, Orisha Wall was erected in 1986 by artist Muneer Bahauddeen, via funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for "Community Development Block Grant activities." Not a handsome piece to begin with, Orisha was built with unsuitable materials for the outdoors (concrete covered with glazed ceramic tiles), and quickly began to crack, chip, and crumble. Despite pleas from residents, neither alderman seemed willing or able to remove the sculpture. To read all about how Hyde Park Progress inspired Irene Sherr to doggedly seek the sculpture's removal (at a ridiculous DOT price tag of $18,600), read this post.