One of the Elaine Place giraffes in 2010

One of the Elaine Place giraffes in 2010 (November 12, 2012)

The beloved Elaine Place giraffe statues that disappeared from the Lakeview neighborhood last November are for sale--but only if they will be rightfully replaced.

Erin Duffy, community outreach coordinator for Ald. Tom Tunney’s office, said she received a call from Milton Zale, the former owner of the properties where the sculptures sat, Thursday afternoon. She said Zale informed her that restoration on the giraffe sculptures is nearly complete, and they will be for sale for $45,000 a piece with one catch.

“He will only sell them if the giraffes will be put back in the original spot [the 3400 block of Elaine Place],” Duffy said, adding that it could be possible for a community organization or group to pool together to buy the pieces. “I know there is a great interest in bringing them back into the neighborhood. In terms of which group or who would have the money, I’m not exactly sure.”

Duffy said, however, that if the sculptures were bought, the buyers would need the consent of the new property owners--Chicago Apartment Finders--before they could be reinstalled. It’s unclear, Duffy said, exactly what Zale might do if no sale is made, but she said he previously indicated interest in possibly donating them.

The sculptures--the work of Chicago artist John "Jack" Kearney--stood at the ends of Elaine Place and Roscoe Street since 1978 before they were removed when the property was sold in November. Many in the neighborhood and beyond took to social media at the time to protest and memorialize the fixtures of the community. 

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