After we got back from Cincinnati, I still had a couple of hours of daylight left. I drove downtown to check out the Arena site once more. Lo and behold, another LPD cruiser was parked in the identical spot as the fellow a couple of days before.

I chatted with the friendly officer for a few minutes. I confirmed that the site owners have posted a 24-hour watch to deter vandals and thieves—and their slightly less sleazy brethren, photographers, one presumes. The officer gave me the name and number of the demolition company to call to ask about access to the site. (That is, he pointed to one of the gigantic signs around the perimeter containing this information.) Great, but count me skeptical that cold-calling them is going to get me in.

In the current hyper-litigious environment, it’s not hard to understand why those in charge of the site might reflexively say “no” to some photographer they’ve never met asking for site access to photograph. From their point of view, what is their upside? Allow someone onto the site to either get hurt, or hurt someone else, or get in the way of the goings-on, or otherwise generally make a nuisance of himself? Why should some site foreman go out on that limb, when “no” is almost always the right answer, absent pressure from higher up the corporate food chain?

My best chance would be to find someone who knows someone who knows someone who can vouch for me and get this cleared from the top down. I’m going to have to shake the heck out of my rather thin list of influential contacts to gain some traction here.

Meanwhile, all that lovely stuff is either moldering in the elements, or getting salvaged away, and a piece of local history perishes undocumented (as far as I know.)


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