The fire escape on the front of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School, the entry point for many trespassers over the years, was recently cut off at the second floor, making access to the school more difficult. Over the years, neighbors across the street have seen many people enter the building–and not just the usual suspects, but older people, mothers with teenaged kids, and more (here is a 2006 Tribune-Review article about one trespasser, who apparently didn’t realize that she was breaking the law by entering a boarded-up building).
People who just want to look are one thing, but residents have been distressed to watch as the school has become a target for vandals who have turned this beautiful and historic building into an eyesore covered with ugly graffiti and tags. Hopefully, making entry more difficult will decrease the nighttime visits.
We are still hoping that it will one day be possible for the building to be re-purposed, but in the meantime, it’s nice that vandals will find it more difficult to inflict further damage. The team looking after the school is on the alert. Note to vandals–this neighborhood cares about this property. Just because a building is vacant doesn’t mean it’s been abandoned. Go do your graffiti somewhere that no one cares about, and leave the school alone!
(and while we’re on the topic, graffiti vandals have also hit numerous homes along Gold Way, as you enter Polish Hill. What is wrong with someone who paints graffiti on private homes?)