The Berwyn Spindle could be yours for just $150,000
April 13, 2008 10:38pm CST
I remember going to this strip mall with my Grandmother and marveling at how huge this sculpture was. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/892557,CST-NWS-spindle13.article April 13, 2008 BY ANDREW HERRMANN Staff Reporter email@example.com Berwyn's Spindle -- the west suburban skewer of cars made famous in the movie "Wayne's World" -- is for sale. Last summer, the company that operates the shopping plaza where the Spindle has stood since 1989 said the sculpture needed to be removed, in part to make room for a new Walgreens. Kitsch fans and pop-art preservationists howled. A Save Our Spindle committee was established. But the mall's management firm, Concordia Realty, estimated it would cost $300,000 to take down, refurbish and re-erect the "car-kabob.'' And, said Michael Flight of Concordia Realty, "We haven't seen any money yet" from groups wanting to save it. Now, the Spindle has been put up on eBay, the online auction site. Starting bid: $50,000, plus $100,000 in shipping costs. PayPal account required."The concrete isn't included. Just the cars and pole,'' said Flight. "If someone wants to buy it and give it a home, we're willing to sell it to them. Otherwise, we're planning on probably taking it down sometime this year."The Walgreens still needs another permit to begin construction, and the management firm hopes to begin construction this spring, said Flight. On eBay -- search Spindle Art Work -- the pileup is touted for its appearance in the 1992 film chronicling the adventures of Wayne and Garth. The piece is also, the site notes, "an internationally known roadside monument.'' But in an interview Friday, Flight warned the Spindle is in "really bad shape.'' The eight cars -- from the crowning 1967 red VW Beetle on down -- are pockmarked with rust and pigeon poop. Even if the Walgreens doesn't go through, "We had to take it down.'' Flight would not say that the eBay offer is the deathknell for the sculpture at Harlem and Cermak. If it's not sold, he said, "We're going to take it down and take a look at our options."We think it's a great thing. We think it brings a lot of people to the area. [But] it's hard to swallow $300,000."Artist Dustin Shuler, who says he holds the trademark on the piece but not ownership of the actual Spindle, couldn't agree with plaza ownership over ways to market the sculpture to raise money to save it. In an interview from Southern California, Shuler said he won't bid on the Spindle. "It's pretty decayed,'' he said. Plus: "I don't have that kind of money.'' Still, said Shuler, even if the Spindle ends up junked, "It's not dead."I still have all the images and the models. I could do it again."