Graffiti cleanup cost park district $1,300

Related graffiti found at OPRFHS


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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

Oak Park Police said they continue to investigate the graffiti incident at Ridgeland Common Oct. 11.

"There is no indication that this is gang-related," said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds. "This is a tagging crew." Reynolds said Oak Park police were working with CTA and Chicago police to identify the offenders.

Police found other graffiti with one of the tagging names, "Cavi," at Oak Park and River Forest High School written with black paint on a porta-potty and a white garbage can. They also found the tag on the metal frame on one of the soccer goals. 

The Park District spent at least $1,300 to remove the graffiti. Taggers used pink and black spray paint to tag the wall and doors of Ridgeland Common Saturday, sometime between midnight and 5 a.m.

Parks officials said they believed the graffiti artists "came in off the Union Pacific train tracks," said Park District of Oak Park Director of Marketing and Customer Service Diane Stanke. Stanke said police and the park district were reviewing surveillance tapes.

McCahill Painting of Romeoville was contracted to remove the graffiti, which was gone by around 10 a.m.

The building façade is covered with a non-porous high pressure laminate paneling called Trespa, Stanke said. The easy-clean material is used for outdoor decoration on public buildings and is meant to be low-maintenance and graffiti-resistant.

Workers used an organic cleaning solvent called "Elephant Snot" to remove the paint, Stanke said.

In July before the new rec center opened, the park district found evidence on surveillance cameras that thrill seekers were jumping from the Union Pacific train tracks to the roof overhang of the new building.

"We spoke to the safety officer at Union Pacific and they agreed to improve their patrols, which they have done," Stanke said.

The park district erected a fence between the turf field and the field house, but that's mainly to "keep soccer balls from going on the roof," Stanke said.

She said the park district is boosting security at Ridgeland.

"We will continue to work with Union Pacific and the police to figure out some other options."


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Reader Comments

11 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

TN from OP  

Posted: October 16th, 2014 5:17 PM

I'm glad the Journal reported the story, but why did you reward the vandals by printing not one, but two pictures of their handiwork in the paper?

RF from OP  

Posted: October 14th, 2014 9:12 AM

unrefuted, or, call it a duck? hahaha

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 11:07 PM

Like it or not, RF from OP, the Ridgeland Common pool facility is not some prehistoric cave in France to be painted on. The unauthorized painting there is simple vandalism.


Posted: October 13th, 2014 10:29 PM

I completely agree that the "taggers" should NOT be called "artists". Even poor and starving artists know enough to display their work on a surface they own not on someone else's property. Perhaps the Oak Park Area Art Council can help if it is felt that the space needs decoration?

Don Nekrosius from Oak Park  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 5:38 PM

For all the energy, investment of time and intelligence, for all the meetings and considerations to upgrade this extraordinary physical exercise campus expended by the PDOP and members of the community, it's disappointing to see "artists" use a wall as the place to leave their mark. Maybe it's merely another urban experience, but frankly it stinks. If you want to see artistry, view the railroad embankment panels along North and South Boulevard. Taggers are the visual counterpart of doggerel.

Zephyr from Nyc  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 5:25 PM

OP should have paid a professional artist to go over the Graf with an appropriate mural. When one looks around OP, there's simply not enough artwork on the boring dull walls

RF from OP  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 4:11 PM

like it or not, it is art, just like Dordogne

Oakparker from Oak Park  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 3:55 PM

I think an apt punishment would be for them to repaint it with our design. An attractive design would be better than a boring wall. They would have to supply the paint as part of the punishment, of course.


Posted: October 13th, 2014 3:45 PM

Happy to see the Wednesday Jounral is no longer calling the perpetrators "artists", as they did on Saturday.

Additional Suggestion  

Posted: October 13th, 2014 3:38 PM

just let them spray paint the ramps at the skate parks


Posted: October 13th, 2014 1:28 PM

Electrified, barbed wire fence would do the trick.

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