BUTTE – These vicious looking creatures were designed to protect Butte’s new parking garage. Now, most are missing.
“It was disheartening. You know, it’s just disappointing,” said Butte Community Development Director Karen Byrnes.
Six of the eight tiny gargoyles that were attached to the front benches of the Park Street parking garage was forcibly removed sometime this week. The $160-dollar bronze figures were specifically designed to go with Butte’s unique architecture.
“You know, we really thought we’d harken back to the other gargoyles that are in and around town on all of our historic buildings and we thought we’d pay some homage to that,” Byrnes said.
The city now only has three gargoyles left which were specifically made for this project. In fact, they were forged at Billings Bronze Inc., which sadly was destroyed in a fire last month.
“They were designed by our architect; they are a Gaelic gargoyle harkening back to our Irish heritage. They’re more dog-like and they were there to protect the garage and all of its occupants,” Byrnes said.
Some business owners in the area are disappointed by the vandalism.
“I feel like I sort of the guardian because I can see everything that happens, we live in this building and we’re in the building 24/7. But I do think it’s a terrific asset for Uptown Butte,” said Ted Ackerman.
The city will consider adding security cameras to prevent future vandalism.
“We want people to behave and if it acts as a deterrent and it could protect someone from getting hurt then definitely be putting in the cameras,” Byrnes said.
For now, the remaining gargoyles will stay safely inside.
According to a press release, the gargoyles are special and unique. Anyone with any information about their whereabouts or who may have taken then should contact Karen Byrnes at 497-6467 or Butch Harrington at 497-6273.