The PI.com ran a story last night on neighbor complaints about a
well-known “notorious” University District graffiti free wall. Predictably, they buried any pro-graffiti sentiment at the bottom of the piece. Blah.
Last year, when the storied, now-defunct Tubs building was heading toward demolition, the property owner invited a bunch of street artists to use it for murals. Why not, he figured. The walls would be coming down soon.
But the owner lost financing for his project – a new six-story, mixed-use building – and the walls stayed up. Since then, what began as a gritty piece of curated street art has become one of the most notorious landmarks in Seattle for graffiti – loathed by neighbors, celebrated by taggers, and untouchable by city laws.
“Everybody is fed up with it,” said a nearby business manager who didn’t want to be named, for fear of taggers targeting his building. “It wore out its welcome about 90 days after they started doing it.”
Neighbors have repeatedly complained about the building, a 12,000-square-foot structure smothered roof to ground in graffiti. Located on the can’t-miss corner of 50th and Roosevelt in the University District, it boasts monochromatic scribbles and vast, garish renderings; chaotic sprays and meticulous brushings; a pair of breasts and a detailed mummy; and the corner of what used to be a pregnant woman with an assault rifle. There is little of the building’s original beige.
“It just looks derelict,” said Stephanie Ogle, the owner of Cinema Books across the street. Other business owners have complained of empty spray cans littering the ground, squatters inside the building, and of customers feeling unsafe.
C’mon, PI. Graffiti isn’t nearly as universally reviled as you would have us believe.