NEWS

Famous car Spindle will stay up for winter

Cari Brokamp

The Spindle will stay — at least for the next few months — after complications have delayed its removal and the construction of the Walgreen’s planned to take its place.

Now that cold weather has hit the area, it’s unlikely anything will be done with the Spindle until the spring thaw, said Michael Flight, president of Concordia Realty Management, the company which manages Cermak Plaza where the Spindle stands.

He said complications, including obtaining water permits for the construction of the new building, have slowed progress on its development.

“Web site activity is nearly nil,” said Jon Fey, chairman of the Berwyn Arts Council, which has headed up a ‘Save the Spindle’ campaign. “It’s been very quiet and there has not been a lot of activity. No (events are) planned as far as I know. We’re all just kind of sitting on our hands.”

The sale of ‘Save the Spindle’ T-shirts has allowed the Berwyn Arts Council to raise about $5,000 to put toward the proposed relocation of the art, an amount that falls far short of the $300,000 contractors have estimated it would take to move the sculpture. If arrangements can be made for the Spindle to be saved, it could be reconstructed sometime next spring at a location in the plaza 300 feet to the west of its current home, Flight said this fall.

Whether or not the Spindle should be saved has been a matter of debate in recent months. Some believe it’s a unique feature of the city and a tourist draw. Others say its rusted and bird-waste covered exterior is a community eye sore.

Fey said the fate of the Spindle remains in the hands of the shopping center’s owners, who will decide whether or not they want to put funds toward preserving the controversial piece of art.

“Ultimately, Flight has to decide that he is willing to either get the money or commit the money,” Fey said. “He has to commit to doing it before there is anything else for us to do.”

If the Spindle cannot be saved, Fey said the money donated for the cause will be used toward other work within the arts council.

“We want to use it in whatever way we can to support the reconstruction of the Spindle, but at this point, it’s up in the air about what’s going to happen,” Fey said. “The money is definitely earmarked for that and we’re going to hold it until that’s done. ... But if Flight decides it’s not feasible for one reason or another, we’ll use the money for some other (art council) cause.”

Berwyn Life