$250 Reward for Return of Missing Bain Plaque

A Stolen Historic Marker

January, 12, 2009, by Ladye Jane

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This weekend, while members of The Bain Project were in the old Bain water treatment plant, they noticed that the historic dedication plaque to the building had been stolen off the wall. The plaque dedicated the building as part of the PWA program under Roosevelt in 1940 (the smaller plaque of the two).

The plaque is a wonderful piece of U.S. history, and Empire Properties is asking for your help in getting it back. A $250 reward has been offered information leading to its return. Please call 919.834.8350 if you know anything about it.

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  • arthurb3
    01/12 01:15 PM

    Hummm, are they sure the new owners havent removed it??

  • Ladye Jane
    01/12 01:37 PM

    Empire has posted the reward…they are the owners.

  • Mary Ruffin Hanbury
    01/12 03:37 PM

    I can’t believe someone would do that!

  • Raleigh Boy
    01/12 03:53 PM

    Same thing happened to the 1913 dedication plaque on the Boylan Ave. bridge when it was demolished in 1982. Must have been at least two people who stole the Bain plaque—that thing looks HEAVY!

  • Rusty
    01/12 05:01 PM

    I’m surprised that the reward is only $250…

    The site has been a favorite of urban explorers for a while hasn’t it?

  • Johnny
    01/12 06:53 PM

    I can believe someone would do that, but I can’t believe the type of person that would steal that would actually want it!

  • Stan Crocker
    01/12 08:00 PM

    Hi guys

    So sorry the plaque has gone missing.

    I would strongly suggest checking with all of the scrap metal places around Raleigh. I work at a local Ace Hardware 4 days a week. We have had major problems with the theft of copper over the past several months. Because of the nature of the object, I would think any reputable place would call the police if it turned up, but maybe not.

  • John Morris
    01/12 10:44 PM

    It’s an utter shame that this piece of Bain’s history was stolen. Before jumping to conclusions about urban explorers, bear in mind what Stan says - this was a large chunk of metal that until very recently would have been worth a fortune in the scrap market. It’s been terribly sad to witness the gutting of so many old structures from copper and scrap metal thieves.  Unfortunately, explorers have (incorrectly) been blamed for the loss of items in old buildings such as this plaque.

    Those who enjoy visiting these abandoned or decaying places almost universally adopt a “take only pictures, leave only footprints” philosophy. It just doesn’t make sense to destroy what you adore. As Raleigh Boy points out, this thing must have been heavy, and as such probably required both planning and multiple people. 

    I sincerely hope that if it wasn’t the work of heartless scrap thieves, the person(s) in question will have a change of heart and return it to its rightful location.

  • Rusty
    01/13 12:29 AM

    My implication was that a lot of people have been in and out of the space, making it harder to track down the culprits… The handful of Urban Explorers that I’ve known personally were pretty specific about the laws they were and were not willing to break, larceny and intentional property damage is almost always off limits.

    Here’s to hoping they find the guys.

  • Mark Turner
    01/13 09:38 AM

    Actually, the price paid for scrap metal has plummeted along with the global economic recession. I’m guessing this was stolen for other reasons (and therefore optimistic that it will turn up).


  • Greg
    01/14 12:51 PM

    Probably in someone’s garage bar.

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