Opposition to Streets Dept. campaign to put country’s largest mural on PSFS building

Conrad Benner of street art blog Streets Dept – whose “Furnessadelphia” exhibition Metro profiled this week – has started a petition campaign to bring the country’s largest public mural to Philly, locating it on the back of the PSFS Tower at 12th and Market streets, which is currently a Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

“As it stands today, Philadelphia has the most public murals in America, but what we don’t have is the largest public mural,” the petition reads. “No, the largest public mural in America lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha – of all places!” It encourages participants to send a message to Mayor Michael Nutter that having the most murals isn’t good enough – the city should also have the largest.

“And what a better place for the nation’s largest public mural than on the back of the PSFS Building?” it continues. “Right in the middle of our skyline, and currently painted a boring black, the back of the PSFS Building is the ideal canvas for such a project.” The petition currently has 121 out of a goal of 5,000 signatures.

“A mural on the PSFS Building would likely become an iconic landmark like the building itself, and its sign,” one signer who identified himself as Gabriel Gottleib wrote. “Also, it’s not likely to be covered over by new construction as the buildings to the south are classic buildings in their own right, so we will either have a mural or this blank wall forever.” Another proponent, Skye Ruozzi, wrote, “Please, please, please! Shine some colorful lines onto the still blight-full downtown.”

But not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. The Inquirer’s architecture critic Inga Saffron took to Twitter to rail against the proposed plan.