Thursday, November 5, 2009

Something's Gotta Give

The once beautiful mural on the west side of TCF Bank at 1050 W. Wilson has seen better days. Our readers who board the train on Wilson have surely seen the various tags covering the bank, most recently the vulgar phrase that was thankfully covered up by Graffiti Blasters. Just as soon as one is covered up, another tag of gibberish replaces the old one. Our question is, how are these thugs getting up on the roof of City Sports and Rainbow Clothing to vandalize this building and what can these businesses do to prevent it? We do know that it will take TCF Bank, City Sports, Rainbow, Family Dollar, and the Uptown United-owned building with MDT Architects working together to put a stop to it.


  1. Maybe there's an "insider" who works at one of the adjacent buildings and knows how to get roof access after-hours to let his/her buddies in to do their handiwork?

  2. anti-graffiti paint?

    Seems simple enough. Might be expensive but has gotta be better then the upkeep.

    Graffiti Proofer Anti-Stick├ó„¢ causes graffiti to run off protected surfaces and makes clean-up equivalent to washing windows. Available as clear coating or in custom colors, it provides high-slip characteristics that cause paint to crawl together and run off surface. Coating is impervious to UV degradation, hydrocarbons, and various chemicals in addition to paints, inks, and dyes. Applications include walls, buildings, bridges, vehicles, restroom partitions, and lockers.

  3. This is a citywide issue that seems to be rapidly getting worse in Chicago. This anti-graffiti paint sounds nice, but how about focusing on catching offenders and collecting excessive fines.

    Why anyone should think they have the right to vandalize another person's property is beyond me.

    How about changing the law so the fines include actual clean-up costs plus, say $5,000 (and hold parents accountable in the case of minors).

  4. Hey, if you have a plan to catch them I'm all for it.But in reality, deterring them from doing in the first place is a little more realistic.

    People keep tagging because it's assumed that its just a part of city life. It's just too easy to do it and extremely difficult to get caught.

  5. Anti-graffiti paint is REALLY expensive. Hundreds of dollars a gallon, or at least it was a few years ago when I researched it.

    I've seen these morons get up on roofs in the middle of the night. I called the cops, but they left before the cops arrived. Bright shiny giggly white 20somethings.

  6. frankly, i like the graf but that's just me. i say pick your battles. do you want guns or spray cans off the street? a bullet damages a community and this isn't gang related - graf is about exposure and is a sub culture spanning from the early days of hip hop. it won't go away. these are young artists in need of an outlet and unlike NY or LA, there aren't legal walls where these kids can post. the 'big ass dicks violtaing the coochie' tag was a message...

    frankly i'd rather have the CPD busting gang members than artists who they'll never catch. sure there are gang tags, but those involve forks and aren't as artful. if you want to learn about gang graf vs graf art, check wikipedia - there are extensive articles.

  7. Larry, I can see your point and I'm a huge proponent of freedom of speech and am active in the art community. I respect graffiti art but this is not it. In fact, it's an insult to those artists who practice it. These messages are just cheap, purile ways to say nasty things in public.

    Maybe we commission a piece of graffiti art to go there. No one seems to mess with the mural on Sunnyside and Sheridan.

    As for where is the best place to put effort. It's not that simple.
    Not focusing on small crimes will not mean any more progress will be made to bigger crimes. Though the opposite has been shown to be true

    Studies have shown that neighborhoods that fix broken windows, remove graffic and prevent it have lowered crime rates.

    It's called the broken window effect. It promotes a message of zero tolerance and It's how Manhattan got cleaned up in such a relatively short time(though personally I miss some of the seady parts)

  8. Anti-graffiti paint is REALLY expensive. Hundreds of dollars a gallon, or at least it was a few years ago when I researched it.

    If that stuff does work, it's too bad that there isn't some sort of financing .. maybe even based on property tax dollars, which could be used to fund a project that could help clean up the neighborhood.

  9. Yo,Helen has the $$$ and it could be done artfully. I thought it an eyesore and it is.White wash it and have a go,do your best work,{maybe wishful thinking I'm sure} I think the appeal is the thrill of getting away.