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Abandonment Issues

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"Chicago's boardup artist" Chris Toepfer, working with neighborhood nonprofits and the city, is gaining recognition in poorer parts of town for his flair for decoratively condemning vacant properties with colored plywood and wild paint jobs. Toepfer's done similar things with neglected landmarks like the Muddy Waters House and Bridgeport's Ramova Theater. Since 1995 he's visited more than 3,000 ghost buildings in 17 U.S. cities, boarding up some 750, such treatment strongly correlating with the rescue of many structures. [Sun-Times]