ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A sculpture that took a St. Paul man months to build is now just a pile of ice.

Two kids used a golf club to level the sculpture that was in front of Gary Pruitt’s home on Gotzian Street around 4 a.m. Saturday.

“I heard kind of crunching and kids voices,” Pruitt said. “I looked out and there were a couple of them whacking at it with a golf club.”

Two boys, Pruitt thinks between the ages of 10 and 12, were destroying the nearly 700-block ice sculpture, one chip at a time.

“I had poured probably 200 gallons of water over this thing over the week so it was solid. I mean, it wasn’t going down easy,” he said.

He came up with the idea to build the sculpture from a photo he keeps in his home of an ice palace made for the 1992 St. Paul Winter Carnival.

He started freezing ice blocks in December, using empty milk cartons and shoe boxes. It took three boxes of food coloring to decorate the ice, and he filled the castle with lights to make it glow.

He finished it in early February, just one week before he saw his months of work being vandalized.

“I went out on my deck and just started shouting, just in my biggest, nastiest voice,” Pruitt laughed. “By that time they were halfway down the block.”

By then, the sculpture was already nearly destroyed. Pruitt says he’s not that upset because he was able to share a piece of winter beauty with the community, even if for a short time.

“It’s ice art. It wasn’t going to last anyway, and I had my fun with it when it was over,” he said.

But were the two months and countless hours spent building ice blocks in the subzero temperatures of the polar vortex worth it?

“I’ll do it again, it was fun,” he said. “And the little girl across the street thinks I rock, too.”


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