We told you a little bit ago about a petition started by the Streets Dept.‘s Conrad Benner to put the largest mural in the country on the bare side of the PSFS building. It’s had a little bit of support online (but not from our commentors). As it turns out, Inquirer Architecture Critic Inga Saffron agrees with our commentors. In a piece from this weekend, Saffron said, “The urge for a mural on such an important building suggests that we have lost our ability to look at architecture and see meaning in the arrangement of stone and glass.” Saffron continued to say that the PSFS building is “Philadelphia’s best and most important 20th-century building, a groundbreaking skyscraper that is a staple of architecture curriculums around the world – not to mention one of an elite group of National Historic Landmarks protected by federal law.”
From Saffron’s architecture point-of-view, too many “blank walls” in Philly are being covered up by murals.:
This is a big part of the problem. We’ve reached the point in Philadelphia where murals have become the default balm for all our urban blights. Got an empty lot? Paint a mural on the exposed wall. Is your neighborhood shopping street on the rocks? Bring in celebrity artists Haas & Hahn to stripe the facades in tropical colors, as the Mural Arts Program did on Germantown Avenue. Paint is the panacea. It is no longer good enough for a brick wall to remain a brick wall.”
To read more of Saffron’s view on the matter, which many of you likely agree with, head over here.