Thieves rip off historic images from Park City construction site

Works decorated fence at former art center location along Main Street

Two historic images that decorated the construction fence surrounding the former site of the Kimball Art Center, including the one shown, have been stolen since mid-December. The perpetrators cut wires and nylon zip ties to take the images.
Courtesy of R&O Construction

Two large historic images of Park City have been stolen from the construction fence surrounding the former site of the Kimball Art Center since the middle of December, the superintendent of the project said, bold thefts given the high-traffic location of the property.

Dino Furano, the R&O Construction superintendent at the site, said one of the images disappeared approximately three weeks ago. Another was stolen in the overnight hours between Thursday, Jan. 5 and the next day.

The images are printed on fabric. The fabric is then used to cover the construction fence. Furano said the sections that were stolen measure 12 feet wide and 6 feet tall. He said the perpetrators cut wires that tied the images to the fence. They also cut nylon zip ties to remove the portions of fabric, he said.

“They’re pretty nice . . . I think they would just take it for their backyard, their house,” Furano said.

Furano said the estimated loss is more than $900. The sections of fabric are valued at $384 each while it cost $75 for the rights to use each of the images, he said.

Both of the images show historic photographs of Main Street. One looks downhill along Main Street while the other was taken looking uphill. Some of the buildings in the historic images remain recognizable along today’s streetscape decades later even though many have been updated in the intervening years. Neither of the images show the former site of the Kimball Art Center, itself a historic building.

Other images on the fence were not targeted.

The Park City Police Department occasionally receives reports about crime at construction sites, but those cases more typically involve stolen tools or vandalism. It is extraordinarily rare for images to be taken from a fence as in the case at the former site of the Kimball Art Center. It is also bold for someone to have perpetrated a theft at such a high-profile spot. There are pedestrians and drivers passing the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection at all hours, and police officers regularly conduct overnight Main Street patrols.

The Police Department received a report about the missing images at 7:49 a.m. on Jan. 6. The disappearance of the first image three weeks ago was not reported to the Police Department until the second one was taken.

Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the department gathered unspecified evidence. The investigation is continuing. Kirk said someone could attempt to sell the images or keep them for personal use.

City Hall requires construction sites on or close to Main Street to decorate fences in an effort to create a more pleasant look as compared to a fence that is not decorated. There was concern during a previous period of heavy construction along Main Street that the undecorated sites diminished the experience on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

The losses at the former Kimball Art Center site occurred in the weeks after work started on a major redevelopment. The fence the images once decorated and a construction walkway have been put up, and there has been heavy machinery seen at the site.

The site is under the ownership of a California firm known as Columbus Pacific Properties. The redevelopment involves a new building at the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection. It will be connected to the historic one with a glass breezeway. The project entails an undetermined number of retail spaces and space designed for events. Opponents, though, have challenged the approval of the event space.

Anybody with information about the stolen images may contact the Police Department at 615-5500.

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