A beloved ice sculpture has disappeared, but not in the way residents in a St. Paul neighborhood thought it would have.

Dozens of ice blocks, each about the size of a very large apple, hung from metal strings on a Summit Avenue boulevard display — drawing residents out of their houses and into subzero temperatures to see the whimsical exhibit.

It appeared in early February. On Tuesday, it vanished.

"It took my breath away to see all these giants blocks of ice hanging down," said Pam Schmid, who lives near it.

She described it as an "ice portal" because it was shaped with a hole in the middle and it felt like "gazing through hope."

"It was nice to have a destination on a very cold day," she said. "I live a mile away from the ice portal, so it was nice to walk down and check it out."

On Valentine's Day, the blocks formed a heart.

Schmid went a couple more times to visit the sculpture and saw families and small groups of friends take photos with it. Another person even left pink ice hearts by it.

When she visited it again on Tuesday night, she was disappointed to see it was gone. Schmid saw one woman who lit a candle in its place.

With the weather hitting the mid-30s and even 40 degrees early next week, Schmid knew it wouldn't last long.

"I thought with the warm weather would get it," she said. "It sounds like something else already did."

Schmid said some residents believe the city of St. Paul took it down.

A representative for the city could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. Schmid said no one knew who installed the sculpture, but she said she wanted to thank them.

"It was something that brightened people's days," she said.