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Apartment Residents Want Statue Of Dr. King Fixed

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A statue depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an African chieftain wobbles and tilts on its concrete base and residents of the West Side apartment building named in his honor want it fixed. (Credit: CBS)

A statue depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an African chieftain wobbles and tilts on its concrete base and residents of the West Side apartment building named in his honor want it fixed. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Residents at a West Side apartment complex said a piece of art there could put their kids at risk.

It’s a historic statue and they’re afraid it could fall on a child, so they asked CBS 2′s Pamela Jones to help get it fixed.

It was placed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Apartments at 3220 W. Madison St. to be enjoyed as a work of art, but some who live near it say it could be dangerous.

Reginald Courtland said, “If it falls on a kid, it’s going to crush that kid.”

It’s a bronze statue molded in the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., depicted as an African chieftain and peacemaker.

Some art experts said it’s been sitting in a courtyard at the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Apartments since at least 1973.

But it now tilts and wobbles on its concrete base when touched.

“It needs to be fixed, because it needs to be mounted to the concrete,” Lucille Davis said.

When CBS 2 first visited the statue, the concrete base was chipping in spots and screws or bolts that should have helped it stay put were gone.

Residents said the base of the statue has been crumbling for a couple years.

“A couple of years, nobody’s done anything to repair it,” Courtland said. “You know, kids are going to be kids. You can tell the kids not to play on it or around it, but they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. And they’re going to climb on it and play on it.”

One of the owners of the building said there’s actually a column that runs through the center of the statue that holds it in place.

And Wednesday night, after discussing the complaints with the owner, management placed caution tape around the statue to keep kids away.

Workers also had installed new bolts to hold it.

Residents said they’ve wanted such steps taken for the safety of the kids.

The Chicago Department of Buildings said they’re sending inspectors to the site to assess the damage to the statue.

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