There is an lively discussion at PQLiving about the proposal of additional video billboards at Gallery Place.
There are probably facts being massaged or conveniently ignored on both the protest group and the media compancy. I feel I don’t know the fully story and wouldn’t want to take a definitive stance one way or the other. I will say that I challenge the notion that downtown ads are automatically blight.
A gigantic standalone billboard on a trash strewn vacant lot in the middle of a rowhouse neighborhood I feel comfortable saying is blight. However I think advertising can enhance a bustling downtown’s visual appeal. While I don’t want ads on a Smithsonian building or Union station a well placed ad can juice up some of the boring value engineered boxes of the last several decades.
Below are images of Verizon Center from G Street NW with and without ads. What do you prefer? Don’t judge the G.I. Joe ad in particular – that ad space rotates to something new every week or so.