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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Advertising Displacement

On the old Missouri Pacific Building, now dubbed the "Park Pacific," one finds some troubling banners. Facing west toward one of the park blocks of Memorial Plaza are banners advertising -- with staged photographs of yuppies at home -- a personal chef, gourmet grocery and other perks of the condominum conversion project off-limits to the denizens of this park area, who are mostly homeless men who use the shady blocks of the Plaza to stay out of the sun during the day.

Although the banners are likely innocent advertisements, they appear to be a rather rude posture that creates a Dickensian contrast between the wealth of the occupants-to-be and the poverty of those presumably to be forced away from the building.


Paul said...

The building is vacant.

Joe said...

Yes, the building is vacant and has been for several years. Nobody claimed it was being used as a homeless shelter; just that homeless guys (mostly) are its immediate neighbors in Memorial Plaza, which probably will be "cleaned up" as a result of this development.

I suspect these condos won't even be affordable to the majority of the people who once worked in that building for the Missouri Pacific and later the Union Pacific railroads! My dad worked in that building as a clerk for a couple years in the 1960s; trust me, he didn't make much even then.

What really bugs me about that building, though, is that several great little brick buildings on the 1200 block of Pine were demolished less than five years ago to make way for a parking garage that never materialized. It was part of plan to retain the UP.

Personally, I'd rather have the jobs than the condos. But, you take what you can get at this point. Maybe the condos will at least attract people who work in the 'burbs for an easy reverse commute, and thereby add to the earnings tax pool.

Paul said...

Sorry I misread Michael's post