A prolific graffiti writer known in Detroit as “edub” was captured on camera today defacing the iconic Whittier sign perched atop the historic Italian Renaissance high-rise along the Detroit River.
The photo was posted on the Facebook page of Cafe d’Mongo’s Speakeasy, with the message: “Taggers… stay away from our City! Larry and friends are on their way.”
The 15-story Whittier once served as a luxury hotel and apartment building overlooking the river and hosted The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, actress Mae West and playboy Horace Dodge Jr., among many others. But it has fallen into disrepair after becoming abandoned and neglected by Phoenix Communities, which owes more than $36,000 in delinquent property taxes on the building since 2011, according to county records.
The company has halted a 10-year-old plan to convert the Whittier into a $66 million development of 80 apartments and condos, and the owners have done little to keep out vandals and metal scavengers.
We’ll keep you updated on any developments with the tagger, whose graffiti is spread throughout Detroit on buildings, stop signs and bridges.
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Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.