On Tuesday morning, the entire Bowie Street sign, which had been altered to say “David Bowie Street,” had been removed from the streetlight pole at Bowie and West Fifth streets. KATIE URBASZEWSKI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
On Tuesday morning, the entire street sign had been removed from the streetlight pole at Bowie and West Fifth streets in downtown Austin, Texas. Later, the original “Bowie Street” sign was resurrected in it's place. Austin's transportation department had opted to leave the altered sign in place until Tuesday morning.
On Friday, Roland Swenson, co-founder of the South by Southwest festivals, and Texas sign maker Jason Carter took responsibility for replacing the Bowie Street sign with the name of the late rock legend. The sign swap was a move to honor David Bowie after his death on Jan. 10.
After he had the idea to change the sign, Swenson mentioned it to a few friends. Carter, owner of Wicked Signs sign shop, was contacted by an intermediary, he said.
Carter said he simply placed a decal on the existing sign and added the word “David” to Bowie Street.
Shortly after the sign had been illegally changed, Austin police Officer Chris Irwin said whoever was responsible could be charged with theft and criminal mischief. It's unclear if Swenson and Carter will face charges.