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'Phonehenge' builder begins tearing it down

July 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The man behind the towering structure known as Phonehenge West in Acton began demolishing it Friday - and that means he might avoid jail for now.

Noah Fahey grew up helping his father, Kim Fahey, build the dozen quirky structures on their desert property.

"My dad tried to play ball with them for a long time, for the past 20 plus years. He had actually filed for permits and whatever, and the system is as crooked as a mountain road," Fahey said. "He had told the district attorney from the beginning, if a jury of his peers decided he should tear it down, then he would."

And they did. The county determined it was dangerous and not up to code. A jury agreed and now it's coming down.

Kim Fahey was convicted on 12 counts of building violations, including six for a bridge that stretches around the property.

"They're destroying my place," said the Kim Fahey. "I've worked 30 years on it. It was a one-of-a-kind in the world. I've got 30,000 people on the Facebook. It was a jewel, an architectural jewel. It could have took a 9.1 earthquake."

Not according to a building inspector who showed up to the property Friday and pointed out a beam he says recently broke.

Since Kim Fahey hired a crew to begin tearing down his treasure, the judge gave him a bit more time before sentencing.

Fahey considers himself an artist and does have a following, some of whom turned out to support him during his court appearance.

"He took us on a tour of that outrageous art that he's been building for 30 years with recycled material," said Bonnie Jackson, a supporter.

The son, who looked forward to carrying on the legacy, says he's more concerned about his father staying out of jail than the property.

"He's coming up on 60 this October," Noah Fahey said. "I don't want him to spend the rest of his golden years stressed out or in jail."

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