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Love Lost: Polaris Building Banner Vandalized

Aaron Berner

Fairbanks, AK - A long ailing downtown Fairbanks high rise has suffered another insult.  A large banner hung from the upper reaches of the eleven-story Polaris Building was torn down by vandals over the weekend.

The 40 by 80 foot “Looking for Love Again” banner was installed in 2011 as part of an Alaska Design Forum sponsored art project. Local board member David Hayden says it helped generate conversation about the vacant former hotel."It kind of looked like a for sale sign, but then you throw in 'love' and 'again'. It was exactly what that building needed attention to," he said. 

Hayden says he was surprised that anybody took the effort to tear down the banner.

"I didn't know somebody would hate it so much that they would break into the building, go up there and spend hours cutting all the ropes down and cutting the top down and then just leaving it," he said. 

Hayden says he’s not sure what will happen to the banner, which was recovered by Festival Fairbanks from the street Sunday morning.

The Polaris building is owned by Anchorage developer Marc Marlow, who continues to pursue federal financing and tax credits to leverage renovation of the Polaris into apartments:  a project estimated to cost more than the building will be worth.

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.