Graffiti on Historic Hose Tower Building Riles Residents

The historic building in the heart of Greendale’s National Historic Landmark District was targeted by vandals over Christmas break.

Graffiti found the day after Christmas on the historic Hose Tower building has people wondering who would do such a thing.

An anonymous caller reported the graffiti -- large taggings located on two sides of the building -- Dec. 26 to the Greendale Police Department.

Police say it’s too early to speculate on whether or not someone from the village committed the crime. They sent a photo of the graffiti to the Milwaukee Police Department to compare with similar taggings in the metro area.

Village Manager Todd Michaels said that the Department of Public Works has been sampling different methods to remove the graffiti without damaging the brickwork.

Michaels said they do not have an estimate of how much the work might cost the village.

The Hose Tower building has been a source of pride for Greendale as the community has rallied to put the building into use in time for the 75th Anniversary celebration.

The Greendale Historical Society and a team of volunteers recently began work on the interior on the Hose Tower to prepare it for the construction of public restrooms, a kitchen, and other interior facilities including public meeting space.

The  for the re-adaptation of this historic building in the heart of Greendale’s National Historic Landmark District. The Village of Greendale 

Even school children are involved. A third grade class at Canterbury Elementary School sold books about Greendale history and donated the $200 sales to the Greendale Historical Society’s Hose Tower Preservation project fund.

Kathy Vincent January 05, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Very sad to see/learn about this. :( I encourage the Patch to remove these photos as soon as you can. Gang experts will tell you that this is "free adverstisement" for future "taggers." They like the idea of media coverage for their "artwork." If anyone has seen anyone doing this type of graffiti (in the community) they should report it to the authorities immediately.
Amy Gilgenbach January 05, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Kathy: What I've read about preventing future instances is that the graffiti should be removed promptly and the area should be watched. It sounds like the village is working on that. About the picture: the press has an obligation to inform the public -- with all the tools available -- so that they can be aware of what’s happening and be alert for it. The crime is already done and the Greendale community should know about it, including what it looks like. Seeing the scrawl on the building is rather shocking, especially knowing the care the community is investing in the building, but I hope that's helpful in informing people of the problem. Thanks for your comment.
Kathy Vincent January 05, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Hi Amy- While I agree that it is important for residents to be informed of matters that take place in our community there are also times when the media does refrain from certain types of reporting (ie. photos.) My experience in this area comes from research and graduate coursework in this area of study. I encourage you to follow up with someone from the field to gain their perspective regarding posting these photos. A suggested starting point would be speaking with Greendale resident, John Bowen. He worked directly with the Milwaukee Gangs Unit and was also one of my instructors. The research that has been done in this area shows that sharing this type of media may likely lead to more incidents which I'm sure no residents want to experience. Thanks for your consideration. ~Kathy
KJD January 05, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I would like to see security camera installed on the building.
Carol January 06, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Too bad this happened. I hate to think of our kids doing this, but I suppose it's possible. Or did some outsider get into the "bubble"? I agree there should be a security camera. Also heard that some foreclosed homes have gotten broken into. It's to obvious when houses are left empty!! Hope they catch whoever did the graffiti & that it doesn't happen anyplace else.
Brody January 07, 2013 at 04:14 PM
What an awful looking tag. I'd be embarrassed with my work and volunteering to help erase it from memory if I did this.
jeff ircink January 08, 2013 at 12:35 AM
OK - time to remove the pictures. i agree with Kathy. if those in the community haven't seen them by now on the Patch or in person, they won't - or don't care. and - if our judicial system didn't simply slap the hands of taggers, we wouldn't have this problem. i understand you have to catch them first. i'm talking about what to do to them IF you catch them. but no one wants to step forward and take a hard stance. so - you have THIS to deal with.
jeff ircink January 08, 2013 at 12:36 AM
they would have to be installed high enough so they're out of reach of a thrown object.


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