A concerned citizen reports somebody's been busy destroying one of our city's most important cultural ruins: The old bear cages off Seaver Street in Franklin Park:
Bear cages in Franklin Park are being vandalized. Cages are being stolen for scrap. Park Ranger I spoke to said they couldn't do anything about it. This is a city landmark and historic structure and needs to be protected!!! Please help!
Back in the day, when the Franklin Park Zoo was larger than it is now, it used to have bears - even of the polar variety, in enclosures that date to 1912 and which include a large relief of bears clawing at the Boston city seal, as shown in this 1922 photo by Leslie Brown:
The enclosures were eventually shut down - and allowed to just slowly decay over the past four or five decades.
Last year, Matthew Nash pondered the meanings of the ruins:
It’s possible that I’m the only one who is thinking about them at all. I’ve seen park workers having lunch near them, so I know they are not forgotten, but neither are they cared for… or cared about. I guess that’s why I keep going back to sit with my lunch and stare at rusting metal — because I care about them. Even more than that, I appreciate their ignored state, their forlorn rusting uselessness… because they feel genuine to me in that state. Restored they would become new again, separated from their past. Destroyed, they would be lost. Ignored they can exist, tell their story and keep their tiny portion of history alive. That, to me, is why I will continue to eat my lunch under their deadly, beautiful spikes.
Here's a video of some semi-crazed guy exploring the ruins - and leaving the impression that Franklin Park Zoo no longer even exists:
Leslie Jones photo posted under this Creative Commons license.