Society

Milwaukee Man’s 30-Foot Ice Sculpture Torn Down Over Safety Risk

| by Khier Casino

A man’s 30-foot-tall ice sculpture in the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee was taken down Wednesday after it was considered a safety risk by city officials.

David Schardt, 41, created the sculpture by running a garden hose connected to his upstairs bathroom. He attached a string to the hose, and the dripping water slowly froze, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

“I'm always doing different, strange things, and I thought it'd be cool,” he told the newspaper. “And it was cool. The neighbors all thought it was awesome.”

But Milwaukee officials disagreed.

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The Department of Neighborhood Services told WITI-TV that the sculpture’s location, and the plumbing setup used to construct it, violated city codes.

“The weight of this structure lends it to falling in some unpredictable manner, so it’s better we take it down now and know that it’ll be done safely and quickly,” said Todd Weiler, a spokesman for the department.

The city said it could be held liable for any injuries if the structure fell over, according to WITI.

The artwork was demolished Wednesday morning using chainsaws and ropes.

Schardt, who called the sculpture a “beautiful thing,” says he’s disappointed, but won’t fight the city’s decision.

"It's a bummer. I wish more people could have enjoyed it and seen it," Schardt told the newspaper. "The city had to protect its interests, which I understand."

According to WISN 12 News reported that Schardt may get a citation from the city, as the sculpture was located on public property without permission. “Limited tax dollars” were also being used to remove the sculpture.

It was learned that spraying water on a neighbor’s property was illegal, especially if it creates icy conditions.