Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Billboard Alley Redux

So the news has this: Advertisers, city council continue 'Pittsburgh' sign dispute

Something new about this whole argument?

Seems not.  From the Mount Washington News, December 3, 1954 (also see related article on page 1)


Anyone notice we were a bit more precise in our geography a half century ago.  The whole argument goes back much further.  See The Index from 1906: Billboards, a menace to health. Or for the more complete treatment: Fighting “Civic Smallpox”: The Civic Club of Allegheny County’s Campaign for Billboard Regulation, 1896-1917, by Kristin Szylvian Bailey.  Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, January 1987.

I mean.. this new episode in Pittsburgh's billboard saga is more bar stool than fauteuil on the chair-scale.

and a reader pointed this out to me.. I have not really been paying much attention to the comments via facebook now running on the PG.  But on this billboard meme are some curious exchanges on all this yesterday. See:   Bayer wants repairs to iconic Pittsburgh sign. Doug continuing to fire away is not all that surprising.. but some completely non-sequitur hating on community benefits agreements in there?  I am pretty sure there were no CBA's in existance in 1954.  The billboard seems to also be the cause of all the young college graduates leaving town.  Good of an explanation as any of the others I guess. 

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the first of the year I've traveled to Philly, Boston, Chicago, Portland (Ore.) and DC. None of these cities skylines match Pittsburgh's garish display of building signage and lighting. It makes us look cheap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 9:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - you are flat out wrong. All of those Cities (save maybe DC) have brightly lit signs on major buildings. Been to Columbus recently? there is a large video screen downtown. Taken a trip to Austin? Same thing. St. Louis, Baltimore, yep all of them. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but they certainly exist elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

I've got to admit, the skyscraper-top signs don't bother me anymore. Wish the city was earning a concession for them, but c'est la vi.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I felt the same way about the bus station sign. I was angry that they accepted such low rent without seeking other bids.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger Bram Reichbaum said...

That, but I still think that would've looked gross, down practically at eye level. Especially up Grant St.

But of course, regular billboards get on my nerves. I'd like to take a catapult to those IC Light Mango ones in particular.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Fifth Avenue has a giant American Apparel ad with semi-naked teen that sometimes leads to awkward questions from the backseat.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 1:32:00 PM  
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