Who decided to take down the iconic Fresno abacus?

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The iconic giant abacus was taken down and hauled away from the Citibank at Ashlan and Blackstone avenue — where it has sat since 1957.  Many considered the site a historical landmark of Fresno, but Fresno City’s former historic preservation officer says the process of getting it on the historical registry never happened.

“Buildings can be put on the register over the objections of the owner — that does happen if it’s considered a community asset.  It goes through a process with the historic preservation commission and then it goes to the city council,” said Karana Hattersley-Drayton, Preservation Consultant.

Fresno city’s communication director, Sontaya Rose confirms it was never put on the historical registry.  The preservation consultant then dug deeper to see if the proper steps were taken for the abacus’ removal.

“Whether a fixture like that would have required a demolition permit as you would for part of a building — I’m not sure, but no demolition permit was pulled.  Because if they were required to pull a demolition permit and they did not.”

While city leaders and Citibank say they are working together to remedy the incident, the community is trying to figure out who is responsible for the removal of the abacus.

“So, the blame falls with whoever made the decision to pull that out and I don’t know who that is,” said Hattersley-Drayton.

“It was just taken down because and not the fact that it was taken down–nothing was done with it,” said Fresno resident and businessperson Suzanne Kayian.

Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza of Fresno’s District 7 said today that as he understands it will be the original abacus restored.  However, Citibank, the construction and demolition company all declined to provide any further details.

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