The Victory Shoes façade has been illegally demolished, Dave McNair wrote in The Hook a few days ago. (Here’s how it looked when the shoe store was still in business.) One of the few remaining examples of art deco architecture in town, the building—just to the left of Mudhouse, the recent location of Oh Suzannah—was built in 1921 by sisters, Tillie and Faye, who named the shoe store in honor of the recently-won Great War. It was in business for over 70 years, with those sweet old ladies running it until the end. McNair writes that the owner is one Joe H. Gieck, while Liz Palka reports for CBS-19 that property manager Bill Rice was in charge of it. Rice says that it’s “an innocent mistake,” that he didn’t know that he needed permission to destroy the building entryway. The work was being done without a permit (period), and the city has halted construction on what is intended to be a frozen yogurt shop.
The worry with this sort of thing is that Gieck and Rice knew exactly what they were doing, but figured that it was easier to just do it illegally and pay a little fine than to ask permission and likely be denied. I don’t know what the appropriate punishment is for this sort of a thing, but like any punishment, it’s got to be worse than the benefit that was gained from committing the offense in question. It’s up to the city to figure out what that’ll be.