I raced over to The Ritz this morning to find three workers taking down the granite monument that’s stood in front of the towers for two years. Developer Louis Cappelli built the Ritz sign on a city-owned traffic island during his $650 million construction of The Ritz hotel and residential towers. He fought to keep the sign there and even sued the city over it. Now, with a new mayoral administration in place, Cappelli finally agreed to take down a sign that has annoyed Common Council members and city officials alike.
The crew had been taking apart the sign since around 8:30 a.m. today. When I arrived two hours later, there wasn’t much left but the foundation, broken concrete and a few granite facade pieces stacked nearby.
As workers jack-hammered the foundation and wheel-barrowed concrete chunks away, someone from inside The Ritz showed up bemoaning my picture-taking. With his ear glued to a cell phone, he told the workers not to say anything to me and he walked away. The guy is in the back of this shot, by the luggage cart.
Cappelli told me a few weeks ago he came to an agreement with the city to have the island beautified with flowers and lighting, and he may be able to keep a tree already planted there.