Po Dog, the new hotdog vendor coming to the hill, recently blogged about its troubles trying it install a mural on the southern blank facade of 1009 Union Street – adjacent to a parking lot. Laura Olson sent CHS email explaining the issue:
We had a design drawn up from John Osgood and had to ask the owners of the parking lot behind us to use a few of the parking space for a couple of days to clean the wall and get the mural started. They in turn, wanted to see the mural and made the decision that we would not be allowed to use their lot for cleaning and painting because “they felt the depiction of a man eating a hot dog would carry an unwanted double meaning” and did not approve of the “cartoonish” nature of the mural. The property owners also commented that our mural “does not meet the needs of the Capitol Hill neighborhood” and may decrease their property value.
Chris Pardo of Pb Elemental (Po Dog’s architect) says the objections of Po Dog’s landlord and the parking lot owner are surprising:
He [the parking lot owner] owns the Lifelong Aids building (next door) which has a full mural (100% coverage), that also has bright colors and “cartoons figures” [photo below]. Other buildings just down the street also have new abstract murals (Monique lofts for example), these murals serve to fight graffiti (we commissioned John on one of our designs in the central district because the concrete wall was constantly tagged, since then it has never been tagged), advertise a business (like the beautiful painted on billboard now partially covered on the Trace Lofts) an provide additional visual interest and landmarks to a diverse community. Not everyone will like every design, but it is art after all and that is it’s nature. If it promotes discussion it is a success.