Statues returned to Board of Trade
12-foot granite goddesses vanished from Chicago building 76 years ago
M. Spencer Green, Associated Press
CHICAGO A pair of huge granite goddesses that mysteriously vanished in 1929 were welcomed back at the Chicago Board of Trade on Thursday after an unlikely stay at a suburban forest preserve.
The 12-foot, 5-ton statues one representing industry, the other agriculture were unveiled at an outdoor plaza on the 75th anniversary of the building, an Art Deco landmark undergoing a $19 million renovation.
The giant figures once stood on a ledge above the main entrance to the Board of Trade's 1885 building but disappeared in 1929 when it was torn down to make way for the current CBOT headquarters.
The statues surfaced again in 1978 when the DuPage Forest Preserve District bought the Downers Grove estate of Arthur Cutten, a wheat speculator who went broke in the Depression, and found them lying on their sides in the grass. They then stood guard at the Hidden Lake Forest Preserve for a decade until Board of Trade leaders learned of their existence in 2003 and negotiated their return.
The statues, whose sculptor remains unknown, have been cleaned and outfitted with a new limestone and granite base that not only visually ties them to the building but also makes them harder to haul off.
The Board of Trade's trademark statue remains Ceres, Roman goddess of grain and harvest. The 31-foot, 6-ton statue stands atop the building and overlooks Chicago's financial district.