Sadly, more vandalism and theft in Highland Park

Sadly, more vandalism and theft in Highland Park

At the South Avenue entrance to the Lily Pond in Highland Park. 2/25/18. [Photo: David Kramer]

Yesterday, a Highland Park Neighborhood Association member, Claire Marziotti posted about her discovery of a vandalized sign in Highland Park at the entrance to the Lily Pond on South Avenue.

Someone chiseled off the CITYPROPERTY sign at the park boundary next to School 12. I walk by nearly every day, this is fresh. There are chips and stone dust on the ground. Too much effort for random vandalism. There are antique dealers around who steal city artifacts and cemetery monuments and so forth. Remember the stolen Goethe bust from Highland Bowl? Probably in some fancy living room. Be on the lookout. . . Same pillar, north side (facing School 12) still intact.


Same pillar, north side (facing School 12) still intact. 2/25/18.

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Brandon Young, Islander fan, hockey player and Zamboni driver. 1/29/18. From Lily Pond, Highland Park’s hidden ice hockey rink.

We still don’t know when and what exactly happened.  But whether vandalism or theft or both, our park is again victim of selfish and uncivil behavior.  I was especially saddened because we had just done a story on the Lily Pond down the hill from the pillar, Lily Pond, Highland Park’s hidden ice hockey rink.

As Claire reminds us, the defacement of the pillar is similar to the theft a few years ago of Goethe’s bust just down the road in the Highland Bowl, Sadly, there will be no “Happy Ending” in Highland Park this time 

A couple of year’s ago we took my niece visiting from California to the site. One good soul had taped a picture of Goethe to the statue, a thoughtful gesture but not quite redemptive.

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Audrey atop the vandalized statue of Goethe in the Highland Bowl. From Audrey’s excellent adventure in Rochester

As solace, I took the chance to admire the other CITY PROPERTY signs in that part of Highland Park.

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(left) Highland Drive near Reservoir Avenue, (right) entrance to the Warner Castle on Highland Drive. 2/25/18

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(left) On Highland Drive between Menlo Park and Robinson Drive, (right) On South Avenue near Reservoir Avenue. 2/25/18

UPDATE:  On 2/28/18, Larry Staub, Director of Park, County of Monroe responded to inquiries about the pillar:

As you can all imagine, we are quite upset about the marker being defaced.  Although there was some public speculation that it may have been a theft, we are quite certain that it was outright vandalism, as the engraved letters in the limestone block appear to have been chiseled away.  A police report has been filed.  While the vandalism was only noticed recently, there is some speculation that it did not occur recently.  There was very little evidence of a mess that such chiseling would leave behind (pieces, chips and stone dust).  Also, as someone brought to my attention, if you look at Google Maps Street View, the column marker appears to be in its current vandalized state, in the most recent photo taken in July 2017.  Check it out, here:

Regardless of when it occurred, the vandalism is troubling.  We all work very hard to make Highland Park the true gem of the Monroe County Park System.


Sadly, there will be no “Happy Ending” in Highland Park this time

Highland Park over many years

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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