Fix This: The Embarrassing Metaphor That Is the Trash-Filled Municipal Services Building Sign
This September, as many as two million people (and maybe more) will bum-rush Philadelphia to see Pope Francis. Lots of them will walk by the Municipal Services Building, the most important government building in Philly besides City Hall, and expect it to be halfway presentable.
Instead, this is what they’ll find: Alongside the structure, there is a sign for the Municipal Services Building concourse that is stuffed with old, grimy trash. A plastic screen has been removed and people are actually dumping litter into the sign itself, despite the preponderance of trash cans in Center City.
Nothing says “Philly doesn’t have its shit together” more than this. This atrocity sits right outside of the Municipal Services Building, which is a hop, skip and a jump from where Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, judges, commissioners and every other elected official in town goes to work every day! And yet the screen somehow still hasn’t been replaced and the trash hasn’t been removed! And it would take five seconds to do!
The photo above was taken Wednesday.
On Friday morning, we reached out to Thomas McDade of the Department of Public Property to ask about this mess.
“Thank you for pointing that out,” he said. A few hours after we first contacted him, he told Citified that a city contractor had cleaned it out.
“It’s disgusting. It looks like somebody broke off the plastic screen,” said McDade. “It might get to the point where, if this continues, I’m putting a metal sheet in there.”
When we walked by the Municipal Services Building Friday afternoon, we noticed that indeed some — but not even close to all — of the trash had been removed. The screen is also still missing, though McDade said it will be replaced on Monday. Here’s what it looked like:
For some context, here is a picture of the back of the sign, which still has a plastic screen attached to it:
How long has the screen been missing? We don’t know, and neither did McDade. But some of the trash we spotted Friday is really deep in there, and it looks very, very old.
The Municipal Services Building is the home of city government. This would be like someone opening up your house’s mailbox, dumping trash in it day after day — even though there is a proper trash can a few feet away — and you just letting it slide.
Please do something about this, City Hall — for the people coming to see the pope and the city residents who go to the Municipal Services Building every day.