PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating an audacious act of vandalism that left the iconic steps of the Union League in pieces. The balustrade of the curved staircase on the north side of the Center City landmark is caved inward and scattered.
It is a startling sight on south Broad street.
“Oh my gosh… That is insane.”
Some passers by thought it looked like an earthquake had struck and this visitor from Australia asked “Philadelphia falling apart is it.”
But the Union League marketing director Erica Martin says it was theft.
“At about 3:02 a.m. there was a gentleman who approached the staircase and at that time he ripped off the brass section of the railing causing the entire structure to collapse and then he walked away with the rail.”
The Union League says they have alerted Philadelphia Police and are sharing their surveillance tapes with them.
The 151-year-old French Renaissance- style building on Broad and Samson streets occupies an entire city block by City Hall.
The Union League says, “Please be aware that the steps are severely damaged and roped off for the safety of our members, employees and the public. We will work to restore the staircase to its original condition as soon as possible.”
“So very unfortunate situation here we’re very upset about it and you know looking to make sure this is corrected as soon as possible of course it’s an iconic piece here in Philadelphia,” said Martin. “It’s a sad day at the Union League.”