Wednesday, December 21, 2005

United Artists building is taking off it's make-up

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Removal of window art will go all way to top! Check out what the freep has to say...what a shame, what a shame!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art Erased
Don't wipe city flavor off downtown building

Detroit lost a chance to show off its edgy, creative side when the Ilitch family decided to wipe art off the abandoned United Artists building downtown.

Washing off colorful renditions of Mayan hieroglyphics and other designs would have been justified if the 18-story building were being renovated for some good use. Instead, this is a misguided attempt to clean up for the Super Bowl, as if the urban art is more offensive than the empty building. The 77-year-old former theater and office building has been empty since 1998 and decaying ever since.

So far, crews have cleared most of the windows on the lower five floors, which blocks any view of the paintings without considerable neck twisting from passengers riding by in the People Mover near Grand Circus Park.

Some of the best art remains on the upper windows; the Ilitch family, which bought the building in 1998, plans to wipe them clean, too. The family should leave the drawings there until United Artists is rehabilitated.

The building's canvass has gained national attention for its scale, originality and skill. Graffiti artists worked over three years, starting in the late 1990s, painting designs on the insides of the window. The work was unauthorized and illegal, yes, but also wildly expressive and an improvement on an abandoned facade. It added beauty and captured the kind of rebellious creativity that gave rise to techno music, another Motown original. Out-of-towners would have found it fascinating, the kind of cool government planners can't possibly manufacture. Now it's on the way to becoming just another abandoned structure.

Of course, the Ilitch family can do what it wants with its property. But it should have let a thousand windows bloom, at least until a developer can turn the idle building into something that works.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a Post on it in my Vlog

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see this building from my office window and it used to be the favorite part of my view. Now, it just blends in.

4:32 PM  
Blogger dd2 said...

IT is very sad that they removed somethng as special as the paint on the windows of the united artist bulding. You would think that would be a standing peice of art. It is something I fear to understand.

1:16 AM  

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