PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

The City Fights against Graffiti

Posted by ppna on January 14, 2008

The new battle in Ypsilanti is Art V Graffiti. The battle stems from a business owner, Hedger Breed, who refused to remove a piece of graffiti on his property claiming it is not graffiti rather a valid piece of art. Of course the city issued a ticket and then the historic commission became involved because it was a change to the exterior of his building without consent.

I would like to support Mr. Breed in his efforts to do with his building as he likes so long as it doesn’t harm the health and well being of others. I would also like to point out that the city doesn’t look after it’s own buildings. At least Mr. Breed has an excuse for leaving the graffiti on his building.

This is the picture the city is fighting against which is approximately 4sqft.

City Owned Graffiti
This is a picture of city owned property which sits on the main thoroughfare in Ypsilanti.


6 Responses to “The City Fights against Graffiti”

  1. Paul Schreiber said

    Ypsilanti city council enacted an ordinance declaring that graffiti is a public nuisance. Building owners or the city are required to remove the graffiti. The graffiti ordinance was a reaction to the proliferation of unwanted graffiti around Ypsilanti. Once it appears, it spreads.

    The Historic District Commission does not have graffiti guidelines.

    The graffiti on the building of the Water Street property should have been removed. Thank you for mentioning it. It will be painted over when weather permits.

    Paul Schreiber

  2. Schutzman said

    The graffiti on the front of the old grocery store at the water street is, technically speaking, not really graffiti. It was a mural painted there as decoration by the Gallery 555 people, obviously with the understanding that the building would be demolished as soon as their lease was up.

    The last year has seen a marked increase in stenciled graffiti, and I’ve seen the gun/head/heart design specifically in at least two other locations beyond the one getting so much public scrutiny.

    If the historical commission wants to get involved in the issue, I would suggest they start with the Quirk receiving vault and, of course, the cannon in prospect park.

  3. ppna said

    I still hold that the mural is graffiti because they had no right to paint the outside of the building. In my view they should be responsible for the re-paint of that wall.

    If you don’t know — The 555 Gallery is an incubator for artists which started in Ann Arbor (got kicked out of their space) then moved to Ypsilanti and is now in a building in Detroit which was bought for them by a socially minded citizen.

    Apparently there is an impressive mural on the inside of the building which I would be interested in seeing. I never attended a 555 event in the city because there time in Ypsilanti was when I spent time out of Ypsilanti. I think the city did itself a huge disservice by not working with the gallery and trying to keep it in the city.

  4. Schutzman said

    I also hold that the mural is graffiti, just because i don’t personally like it and think it looks like a bad drawing of characters from the “Rugrats” cartoon.

    The building is still quite alive and well, though, so the city could do something intelligent with it whenever the mood strikes them. I think the whole Business Incubator plan in the Smith Furniture building is sort of sad, really, since the same thing could have been done in this building for free at any time.

  5. ppna said

    I don’t understand why the city likes to tear down things that are functioning and won’t force things to be torn down that aren’t. As you know, there are some nice buildings in the water-street project just sitting empty and they could be used for a number of things (including the businesses that were kicked out). If we are a city that wants to be on the cutting edge of ‘Green’ technology isn’t the first rule – Reuse.

  6. […] Posted by ppna on February 22, 2008 Here is a brief update on the graffiti issue that I had written about previously […]

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