In June 2011, City Council passed an ordinance creating the Market Street East Advertising District between 7th Street and 13th Street. Intended to spur the revitalization of Market East, the ordinance allows property owners to erect large-format animated digital signage in exchange for major property improvements. The bill excluded historic buildings from the district except in cases where large signs previously existed.
For most of its existence, a large rooftop sign stood on the Lit Brothers building. This qualifies the building for new digital signage under the ordinance, but the Philadelphia Historical Commission must also approve the alterations. The Commission’s Architectural Committee has recommended denial of the proposed signage, finding that the colorful animation detracts from the architectural integrity of the building. The full Historical Commission is set to vote on the proposal at its September 14th meeting.
What do you think of digital signage on one of Philadelphia’s most iconic buildings? Is it a creative reinterpretation of the building’s commercial past, or a crass intrusion? The Preservation Alliance is collecting opinions in advance of the Historical Commission meeting. Please vote in our poll below and leave comments in the comments box, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.