Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Painful Dismantling

Spindle, a sculpture in Berwyn, IL, just outside Chicago is to be torn down to make way for a Walgreens. I wasn't sad when the White Castle behind my apartment was replaced by a Walgreens, but this sucks. The sculpture, made in 1989 by California artist Dustin Shuler was commonly known as “Car Kabob” and "Eight Car Pile-up." It is ostensibly being dismantled because of the rust and bird droppings festooning the cars, including a Beemer and a red slug bug. I always wondered about that, did anybody clean it? Apparently not. There has been no mention in the media of potential preservation of the piece. It would look good at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park a few miles south at Governor's State University, right at home with Tony Tasset's new Paul Bunyan and other older works in various states of decrepitude.

This photo, by Tom Goetz, is from his website that features some other art in the strip mall where Spindle resides for the time being.


Anonymous said...

But there is already a very large Walgreens in that very shopping center, right by the sculpture! Perhaps Walgreens should be persuaded to consider remodeling instead of rebuilding.

I have heard talk that some of the locals do feel that the sculture is something of a pigeon-hotel, therefore a health hazard. It does have some considirable "guano" on it--and no tangible evidence of any cleaning efforts. Though, the entire shopping center is covered with litter, for garbage cans there typically overflow and contents blow about--that's what the pigeons eat. There's even a handy McDonald's practically right next door to the sculpture, in fact.

Other people have claimed for years that it isn't even a sculpture at all- it's some kind of a trick.

Perhaps then this dismantling is a collaborative scheme between Walgreens and Berwyn? And it's not like the pigeons won't simply move into one of the other nearby artworks.

Bill Dolan said...

Walgreens store model is a free-standing, corner location with a drive-through pharmacy. The new store is going to replace the one in the mall. When they upgrade to this type of store, they like to build the new store close to the otherwise successful store it's replacing.

I hope the sculpure can be moved. If anything, to save the cars. When was the last time you saw a Mustang II, '67 Beetle or a British Mercury Capri?

Anonymous said...

I could have sworn that thing was there in '79.

Web Admin - Maggie said...

If you or any of your readers are interested in the restoration and preservation of the Spindle, please visit


Lisa Hunter said...

I'm surprised a private collector doesn't step in, especially since they don't seem to want money for it. Wouldn't that be a great neighbor-freaker-outer in Highland Park?