Left: Torn-up paving bricks are strewn over the site; all photos by historymike
(Toledo, OH) The Point Place lighthouse is not the only local monument to suffer the indignity of vandals in recent weeks.
At the memorial for the old Auto-Lite plant display floodlights have been smashed, a brass picket has been ripped from the hands of the brass striker who held it, and trash is strewn about the site.
Scrawled on the remains of the brass picket is the name "Hitler."
Left: The name of a Nazi icon is etched into the brass; click the picture for a larger photo
The plant was the site of the infamous 1934 strike that was instrumental in the rise of the UAW. The picketers were met by some 900 National Guardsmen; two strikers died and over 200 were wounded in the conflict.
The site is littered with trash, and there is evidence that the wall offers a conveniently obscured place for people to drink and get high; of course, given the amount of broken glass on the site, partiers have to stand to avoid being cut.
I first wrote about this park in a 2003 City Paper article as part of an extended look at the lack of enthusiasm for local history. In the ensuing 3 years the memorial has only suffered further decay and vandalism.
Left: Graffiti adorns the memorial wall, constructed from original Auto-Lite plant bricks.
The park, featuring brass sculptures by Seattle artist Hai Ying Wu, commemorates the strike. Toledo’s monument to the struggle sits as a dilapidated metaphor of the seeming lack of concern by the city for its heritage.