Thursday, August 25, 2011

Because we've come so far (a little public shaming)

The newly decorated control boxes by RAW and the enlarged photographs by SPIN are faring very well. No one's touched them. If you follow this blog or LynnHappens, you know the good stuff.

There's more work to be done.

Now, we need to address the condition of some of our vacant storefronts.

I'm going to post some photographs of tagged or unkempt properties and their owners. 33 Central gets a pass right now, and I hope to be able to report why soon enough. The building on the corner of Spring Street and Exchange Street, right by Lynn Arts, gets a temporary pass because I hear LynnArts is hatching a plan to renew the faded old construction paper in those windows. I just hope the next window exhibition doesn't look like my first grade teacher put it up.

My primary focus is on tagging. Not graffiti, but ugly,  hardly legible monochromatic scribbles just barely an evolutionary step above peeing on something to mark ones territory. Second to that, there are some simple and cheap measures to beautify property and to at least give off the impression of wanting to lease or sell it.

The owner of most of the properties below has supposedly been made aware of the issue by proper channels, or so I've been told. But this owner has an office one block over on Washington Street, and just yesterday a landscaping company was working in the Central Square island their sign adorns, because they supposedly are the ones who care for it. Yes, I'm talking about Mayo Group. They're down here every day. They could maybe take a few minutes even to address the simpler fixes.

Mayo Group Parking Lot in Central Square. This scrawl has been here for several years, now.

How hard is it to put something nice in the window? I may even have an extra curtain, but I'm not loaning Mayo anything.

Another one that's been here a while. 46 Central. Mayo Group property.

The doorway of 46 Central Square. Mayo Group.

The other entrance way to 46 Central. Since Mayo is using the building, perhaps they should put a door there.

Union Street, just around the corner from Central Sq. Mayo.

Looks like someone was playing with white out. Also, at least paint the stairs, Mayo.

Same Union St. Property. The soap is awful, too.

Union St.

Wide view for context.

Tags, soap, faded falling signs on Exchange Street, right across from LynnArts. Mayo Group.

More Mayo mess.

I think Mayo gave up on leasing 64 Exchange Street, or at least the faded sign would have you think so. Soaped up windows look terrible.

Now, the rest of these tags are on MBCR property. I hope they are dealt with quickly, too.

This one's making a comeback as the paint chips away. That's another issue.

I'm starting with Central Square, perhaps because I notice it more, living here. But also because it's where DTL's arts organizations and artistic initiatives are concentrating. Between LynnArts and the organizations housed within it, RAW, Arts After Hours, the Lynn Museum, SPIN, Turbine, Capital Diner and others, one would think the city would apply a little more pressure to keep up appearances. Lots of out-of-towners and even big name talents pass through Central Square (WFNX is one reason as well). Besides, I live here and I have to see it. That is not to say I only care for Central Square. I want to see improvements radiate outward, towards City Hall Square, up Union Street, down towards Market Street and over to NSCC, and anywhere else they're needed.

Almost forgot the video:


  1. Have you called the Graffiti hotline on the DPW website. They're usually good about getting the offending tags sandblasted. I would also bring it up with Councillor Paul Crowley as graffiti removal seems to be one of his pet projects.

  2. Thanks Eclectic Prune,

    I called the MBTA and they're looking into it. They usually respond by creating a fresh new canvass for more, but they do respond. I'd like to see a mural or rotating art in that corridor between Central Sq and Washington.

    I called the graffiti hotline. It's for city property only, such as parks, schools etc. At least that's what the recorded message says. One also has to go through two confusing layers of phone prompts to reach it. I'm going to talk to Paul Crowley about this. A hotline should be a direct line. It took persistence just to figure it out.

    I have experience dealing with the Mayo Group. I have gone the above-board route. Other neighbors have as well. Their usual practice is to play nice and "yes" you to death and do nothing, or, to not return phone calls, or, to not tell you your contact no longer works for them and that your voicemails and emails will never be heard. Rinse. Repeat.

    I even went through a Councilor at Large who has a connection to the owner of Mayo Group. Nothing.

    There are other Mayo stories I can share with you offline, if I know who you are. And I hope to share them online, sometime soon. In the meantime, look up what they were indicted for in Worcester and let me say I'm glad that material isn't one of the problems we have here.

    I digress.. but there's a Mayo rage going around.. and the last mayor's administration thought they were heroes.

    And meanwhile, ironically, they have a sign in the beautifully maintained Central Square island. I'd rather the neighborhood association care for the island and Mayo care for their storefronts. At equal expense, they could probably could have fixed up most of them by now with the years they've been doing it.

    And they shouldn't even have to be told the condition of their properties, when they have a regularly staffed office right here!

  3. Great idea... showing these photos. We've all seen it in Central Sq. but with your influence, maybe we can bully the Mayo group to start respecting Lynn.
    Regarding the tagging removal: I'm sure that the Sheriff's office would love to have a meaningful task for community service.

    Good stuff on this site.

  4. I am not advocating graffiti but I dont understand why after your property is vandalized the gov finds the need to extort money from tax paying, land owning, voting citizens??? I agree it needs to be cleaned up but is the city cleaning its properties of any graffiti? and accepting fines for not doing it in a timely fashion? citizens get sick of covering up the graffiti because it keeps coming back and then the gestapo comes and extorts money from you on top of the property being vandalized..... amazing system

  5. Why is it always the arrogant real estate developers that bring down the neighborhood! Clean it up Mayo!

  6. Yes, the sheriff's office has the sandblasting machine and cleaned up pretty quickly after I called into the DPW hotline. Sorry you have had a less satisfying experience. Mine was gang graffiti though and I made a point of that; perhaps, that made them get out faster. It seems to me that the sheriff's office should be able to clean MBTA property.


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