A landmark of Bellevue Ave has gone missing — and when a giant Homeric white lion goes missing, people notice.
We have some good news about the Iliad lion. The lion shall return.
“We were going to take it off,” Iliad manager Mike told CHS. “We were just going to get rid of it. I convinced the owner to restore the sign.”
Mike tells us he sent out a survey to residents. “What do you think about the lion?” it asked. Like the rest of the Hill, some thought it looked old, tired and shabby. Everybody else loved it so. Mike said he made the case to restore it despite high costs. People don’t make signs like the Iliad lion these days, Mike said.
According to the Iliad manager, the building’s owner commissioned an artist to create the lion sign years ago. It had since begun to rot and was falling to pieces. The lion lost an ear in a past windstorm — “I saved the ear,” Mike says — and was on its last legs as a building overhaul approached. It looked like the lion might have to go.
“Nah, you can’t do that,” Mike said. “Everybody loves the lion.”
We’re told the lion is now in good hands and undergoing rehab. Mike says the restored lion should return to his proper space above Bellevue Ave in a few weeks.
Thanks to neighbor Lauren for the tip.