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Hegeler Carus Mansion vandalized Sunday night

Nature of artifacts make estimating damage value difficult

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 8:08 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 8:23 a.m. CDT

LA SALLE, Ill. — On Sunday evening, the Hegeler Carus Mansion, a National Historic Landmark in La Salle, Ill., suffered a break in and vandalism.

Vandals threw a brick through a ground-floor window and attempted to gain entry.  When they couldn’t enter through the broken window, a garbage can was used to smash a door open.

Once inside, however, the vandals quickly triggered the motion detector alarm and fled, but considerable damage had already been done.

The oldest gymnasium in America is in the Mansion. The brick and breaking glass damaged several of the artifacts in the gym, including one which is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world. For this reason, it is difficult to determine a monetary value for the damage.

"We would like to thank the La Salle Police department for their quick response, extensive search of the Mansion and grounds, and for the respect they showed for the Mansion, the artifacts within, and our staff," a press release from the Hegeler Carus Mansion noted.

Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact the La Salle Police Department.

The Hegeler Carus Mansion was built from 1874 to 1876 and is owned and managed by the Hegeler Carus Foundation, a 501c3 Non-profit organization that acquired the Mansion in 1997. The Foundation immediately began work to save the home by preserving and restoring it, along with all of its contents. 

On the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, the Hegeler Carus Mansion is a lavish Victorian-era home with 57 rooms, 10 fireplaces, and the oldest private gymnasium in America. A showcase of premier 19th century architecture and design, the mansion features intricate, hand-painted walls and ceilings, elaborate woodwork, century-old chandeliers, parquet floors, floor-to-ceiling windows; etched glass windows and other fine details.

The mansion is undergoing historic restoration. Most of the exterior restoration is complete, and work on the interior and restoration of the gardens and grounds is under way. The mansion is open to the public for tours, lectures, concerts and other events.

For more information on the mansion events and projects, please go to our website at www.hegelercarus.org.

The Hegeler Carus Mansion will re-open for tours on Wednesday, Jan 30.

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