HARLINGEN — It’s a daring disgrace — nine-stories high.
Sometime Wednesday night, vandals tagged the top of the historic nine-story Baxter Lofts building, scrawling the words, “You can’t stop me” across its newly-refurbished brick walls.
Nearby, the word “Most” appears in garish black paint.
“It’s amazing,” Edward Meza, the city’s downtown manager, said yesterday afternoon.
Meza said vandals apparently broke into the fenced building, where construction crews are completing a $4.5 million project aimed at restoring the 92-year-old building to its original condition.
“It’s all the way to the top — the roof,” Meza said.
Meza said it’s unclear whether vandals damaged the building’s interior.
Police Commander David Osborne, who found out about the vandalism yesterday afternoon, said police are investigating the case.
Officials don’t know how vandals entered the building surrounded by a chain-link fence.
“I thought everything was secured,” Meza said. “They need to secure the area better. The building is supposed to be secured. They have the windows in, they have the doors in.”
Meza said owner MRE Capital, which is turning the 1927 office building into a low-income apartment development, will have to launch a costly job to remove the graffiti.
“It’s very expensive,” Meza said.
Construction crews specializing in restoring historic buildings spent weeks cleaning the original brick.
“They cleaned the brick meticulously,” Meza said. ““I was just shocked — to have someone vandalize it and disrespect all the work to the building and the history.”