Neighborhood District Coordinator
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
I'd also like to preface my questions by pointing out that I have a soft-spot in my heart for murals in public. They can be idiosyncratic and add personality to a neighborhood. I wrote about murals on page 205 of City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village.
- 1. Have neighbors complained? In significant numbers?
- 2. What is the perceived urgency of painting over them? Is it a matter of public health, safety and morals?
- 3. What is the cost of painting over the murals? I assume that it is not huge but every penny counts. What's the cost comparison between "painting over" and "cleaming up"?
- 4. Who, or which division, made the decision to paint over the murals?
- 5. What outreach and inquiries been made to clean up the murals? i.e. to known muralists, neighborhood or arts groups?
- 6. Why suggest, as you do above, painting a new mural (presumably at the same site) when the City or sponsoring groups obviously are not able to keep them tidy?
Personally, I don't find the existing murals — even with the graffiti — particularly offensive. They certainly do not show any vulgar/objectionable (e.g. racist or unpatriotic) language. But perhaps others disagree or there are some other policy/practical matters that I have missed.
Are they pristine and tidy? Probably not. But so what? We live in a city and I suspect that if you paint over the existing mural and create a bright clean clank slate, the City will simply be inviting taggers and graffiti-ists to do their thing. So what have you gotten you.
Btw, as a commercial property-owner I know that when finding graffiti, the typical and correct response is to get rid of it. ASAP. Immediately. Today. I just wonder if such response is appropriate for these murals.
I hope to hear from you,