Crime watch

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

September 21, 2005|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,sun reporter

Death of artist found in home investigated

A man who was found dead in his Waverly house over the weekend was identified yesterday as a neighborhood preservationist, and police said they were treating his death as suspicious.

Myron Terry Koenig, 64, a preservationist and decorative painter, was found dead in the front room of his beige-and-green 19th-century rowhouse in the 600 block of E. 30th St. by fire and police crews that responded to a fire about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Maj. Richard C. Fahlteich, commander of the homicide unit, said investigators were awaiting the results of an autopsy. The blaze, which fire officials said caused moderate damage to the kitchen and dining room, remains under investigation.

"It's just so unreal," said chef John Shields, a longtime friend who last saw Koenig on Friday at Gertrude's, Shields' restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

"That night, he was there listening to the music, he came to the bar and was there talking and laughing," he said.

Shields and other friends described Koenig as a renaissance man, full of knowledge and talents in music and arts.

As a painter, Koenig spent almost two decades renovating his house, which was featured in city walking tours.

Yesterday at the house, broken glass and other debris remained scattered along the well-kept grounds outlined by crime scene tape.

"That house was amazing," said Jeff Lauren, another friend of Koenig's. "He was also an inspiration to the neighborhood. He transformed the neighborhood with his paintings."

Koenig was involved in the push to keep a 10-story wall at the old Memorial Stadium from being torn down, arguing that it should be preserved as part of the city's history.

"The most important thing to remember about him is that he was a good artist and he was a good guy," said Arthur Koenig, 61, who flew in from Rome after hearing of his brother's death.

"The last time I spoke with him, we were talking about when he was going to come to Italy again to visit us," Koenig said.

Lauren said details about a memorial service or a concert in Koenig's honor will be finalized in coming weeks.

tyrone.richardson@baltsun.com

Sun reporters Richard Irwin and Gus G. Sentementes contributed to this article.

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