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Open thread: Should advertisements on downtown buildings be removed?

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Welcome to Friday Thursday Open Threads, wherein we'll pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, and more. Have something you want discussed? Let us know. This week’s topic: Advertisements around downtown.

In the past few years, there has been an increasing amount of large billboard-like advertisements on the sides of buildings downtown. They’re bringing in a lot of money for building owners and it turns out, they’re not supposed to be there. Local 4 reports that a city ordinance is in place that makes these signs illegal, and building owners have until December 31 to take them down.

The Detroit Free Press reports that,

Most building signs that are up now in downtown are illegal under Detroit city code. There is a prohibition against large advertising signs, billboards and painted wall graphics within a roughly 15-mile area from the Detroit River out to East and West Grand Boulevard in all directions.

A quick trip around downtown reveals a variety of large signs all over the city, from local sports stars to Comcast to Meijer. These signs can bring in thousands of dollars to the building owners, sometimes helping them keep up the buildings.

We want to hear what you think about the ordinance and what should happen going forward. Should the city stick with the ordinance and get rid of the signs? Or should they take another look at the ordinance and update it? Are the signs too ugly? Do they clutter the landscape? Or are there more benefits to them? Let us know what you think in the comments below.