FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — There’s not a trace of the giant abacus that had been located near the intersection of Ashlan and Blackstone avenues since the late 1950s and many are wondering where it went and why.
“For this location, it was just a gorgeous piece of art and it was a beautiful piece of architecture, loved by so many people,” said Fresno resident and businessperson Suzanne Kayian. “I know people on my Facebook groups, people would have given money for it,”
Part of the “Guarantee Savings and Loan” building — now Citibank — the giant counting device had movable parts and once showed how much the bank had on deposit. Over the weekend, it was dismantled and hauled away.
“You know, I don’t know where it was hauled, but we saw it in the back of the dump truck,” Kayian said. “t’s just sad and I think it’s just a little disrespectful to history and architecture.”
A picture posted on Facebook caused an uproar and a mission to find out where the historical abacus ended up. Calls to Citibank and city leaders resulted in a statement from the bank:
“The Abacus was unexpectedly removed during routine maintenance and we are consulting with the City of Fresno’s Historic Preservation Department to reinstall it or replace it with a design that reflects the architectural, historic and cultural significance of the original.”
But, the search continued with even Caglia Environmental Garbage and Waste Company in Fresno joining in.
“Usually material like that comes to this facility because we’re one of the only permitted facilities for that type of material,” said President of Corporate Development of Caglia Environmental Richard Caglia. “As you can see, we’re not seeing any signs of missing pieces to an abacus.”
While Citibank and the City of Fresno plans on rebuilding the question remains: where did the original abacus go?