United States

Union League's Stone Railing Collapses After Man Rips Off Brass Railing

Philadelphia police are investigating the incident as the Union League works to restore the structure

A man ripped a railing off the staircase outside Philadelphia's historic Union League overnight causing a portion of the stone steps to collapse.

The theft happened just after 3 a.m. Monday in front of the private club's main entrance along Broad Street at Sansom, club officials said.

Erica Martin, the Union League's communications director, said the man was spotted pulling the brass railing from the curved stairs on the building's right side.

The theft caused the large stone banister and several balusters to topple over.

It was not immediately how the man was able to rip off the railing.

Martin said the club contacted Philadelphia Police and turned over its surveillance video to assist in the investigation.

"The steps are severely damaged and roped off for the safety of our members, employees and the public," Martin said in a statement. "We will work to restore the staircase to its original condition as soon as possible."

The iconic, eight floor brownstone structure was built in 1865 as a home for the political society founded to support U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

The building was designated a national historic landmark in 1979.

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