June 11 - June 15, 2018

A Pittsburgh artist is petitioning his county to save a decades-old series of graffiti geese from being blasted and painted over as part of a current rehab job. Can graffiti be worth saving?

Answers Votes
Yes. After 20 years, a piece like this has grown to mean something to the community; they should work something out to preserve it. 55%
No. It's vandalism and should be treated as such. 32%
Other (please explain in the comments section). 12%

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Tagged categories: Bridges; Graffiti; Program/Project Management

Comment from Michael Woodward, (6/11/2018, 10:12 AM)

I voted other as my answer would be based on the condition of the substrate beneath the graffiti. If there are corrosion concerns in the substrate that are causing structural integrity issues then the coating, no matter how "decorative", needs to be removed to remediate the structural integrity. Graffiti can be a true art form as seen in areas around the country such as the Winwood area in Miami, FL. Graffiti is being used to paint the majority of the buildings in this area including a concrete plant that also uses graffiti to paint there trucks.

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (6/11/2018, 12:48 PM)

Graffiti can be an art form....just look at the work of Banksy. I agree with Michael Woodward that safety and the structural integrity of the bridge come first, but after 20 years, the graffiti has become associated with the bridge. Preserve it if possible, restore/replace it if not.

Comment from Robert Ikenberry, (6/12/2018, 1:28 AM)

Public safety is paramount. If the bridge is potentially compromised, it need to be maintained, but art makes life richer and fuller and is worth some investment. In this case, either to preserve, or, as suggested, replace.

Comment from Michael Beitzel, (6/13/2018, 2:17 PM)

The decision should be left up to the owner of the structure. If a public entity is the owner and the artwork was not authorized no additional cost should be born by owner to preserve or to replace the artwork. Those that desire to preserve the artwork should bear all cost.

Comment from Stephen Dobrosielski, (6/14/2018, 2:48 PM)

My opinion is that the geese are not "graffiti", rather a piece of artwork. I am all for preserving the artwork, but should be re-applied by the "artist" at the completion of the bridge rehabilitation project - at no additional cost to the taxpayer. This way, the "artist" receives his recognition and the community has the benefit of looking up to the top strut of the suspension bridge towers to view his masterpiece - at the risk of colliding with other art lovers at 25 miles per hour.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (6/27/2018, 12:22 PM)

Typically for steel bridge repainting, the location where graffiti/art is most likely (web face of the girder) is also typically showing the least degradation. Retaining the art is plausible, but as others noted - the actual condition needs to be surveyed. This question would have been improved with a photo, or link to a photo.

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