Big Signs May Top Downtown Seattle Buildings

Seattle is considering a new policy that will allow companies to place large signs atop buildings downtown. It's part of an effort to lure companies downtown, but many locals are outraged.
December 22, 2010, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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Opponents point to Pittsburgh and Detroit as examples of cities that allow this type of signage, and suggest that those two cities might not be the best models to follow.

"Mr. GERRITSON: One of the few ways that we can show that we're a business-friendly community is by allowing companies that operate here like many other cities do to put up signs advertising their presence.

PAILTHORP: Russell Investments says putting up its sign would help it become a catalyst for an expanded financial sector. And it would show how competitive Seattle can be as it attempts to win new businesses. The Chamber's Senior Vice President George Allen says they've worked with the city council to craft legislation that would preserve the beauty of the skyline.

Mr. GEORGE ALLEN (Senior Vice President, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce): The lighting cannot be garish. Signs cannot spin. They cannot flash. They cannot be sort of video-oriented. They have to be very static, very controlled, and they have to be very tastefully done. "

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Published on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in NPR
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