Vandalism sets Fallon House renovations back
Intruders paint walls with racial slurs, obscene markings
LOCK HAVEN — After an uptick in positive activity at The Fallon Hotel, things have taken a turn.
Vandals broke into the building recently, the second incident of vandalism in two months.
The first incident took place at the beginning of May when vandals spray painted anti-Semitic phrases such as “kill all jewz,” “Jew bad… Nazi good” and multiple swastikas in the basement area of the building.
After that incident, owner Carey Chisolm installed nine cameras throughout the building and boarded up as many possible entrances as he could.
Unfortunately that didn’t stop the vandals.
Just this week another slew of vandalism made its way through the first and second floors of the building.
On the first floor, which houses the main lobby, two bar areas and the kitchen, vandals sprayed a fire extinguisher everywhere.
The yellow tinted dust of the spray can be seen coating the large bar as well as chairs and tables near the restaurant area and stage.
It becomes thickest in the hall that leads to the kitchen area. Totes of colorful costumes and props the previous owners left behind are dumped on the floor just past a freezer with the words “body dump.”
The kitchen area that houses the large stoves, fryers and grills was left mostly untouched except for some fire extinguisher residue on the floor and two leis and a partially drank beer sitting on a deep fryer.
In the main lobby, bags of quickcrete were ripped open and thrown onto the floor and a vacuum stored upstairs sits in the middle of the floor next to a tiki mask.
In a nearby room, a computer screen is destroyed with the tower and security system missing.
Chisolm said the tower and system were stolen and almost all nine cameras were destroyed.
On the second floor shattered glass from overhead lights covers the floor and one section of the tile ceiling has been ripped down.
Words like “Don’t look back… he follows” “HBS” and “no entry” as well as satanic symbols and “Anarchy” decorate the walls.
In one room, photographs left behind by previous tenants are painted red with the words “our house now” nearby as well as other slurs.
“It’s just frustrating,” Chisolm said about the damage.
The damage done by this and previous acts of vandalism will set Chisolm’s renovation back by a few months, he said.
Chisolm said he didn’t initially post about the first act of vandalism to avoid negativity from those who may believe it was a publicity stunt.
After the first incident he reported the break-in to the Lock Haven City Police Department. The police department came to the building and took photographs of the damage, Chisolm said.
However, after the most recent break-in he declined to file a police report, but instead posted the vandalism on Thursday on The Fallon House’s multiple social media outlets.
As of Friday afternoon, the post, featuring photos of the damage, was shared over 400 times and had 283 comments.
Some of the photos included in the post were new compared to what the police department has on file, Lock Haven Police Chief Kristin Smith said.
Overall, the comments made on the post were positive and expressed sympathy towards Chisolm.
“It makes me feel a lot more welcome,” Chisolm said about the community’s outreach. “It shows that people actually care.”
Chisolm said he encourages everyone to come together in times such as this and show community spirit.
“If we’re a community, let’s work together as a community,” he said.
“I don’t expect people to watch over my building all the time” but if you see something, say something, he continued.
Many of the comments from members of the community saw people offering to help in the clean-up process.
Chisolm is still considering the idea.
“I would love to have a community clean-up. I think it would help relieve the costs.” he said.
Chisolm said if he does decide to organize a clean-up he will announce it on The Fallon House’s social media accounts.
Chisolm purchased the historic building back in March with fellow real-estate developer David Quinones for $70,000.
Since then, Chisolm has been renovating the first floor of the hotel including the bar and eating areas, main entrance and 15 hotel rooms.
Chisolm’s immediate plans are to renovate only the first floor for commercial use and then slowly go floor by floor until the entire building is functioning again.