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Shoot It Down!

illegal outdoor advertising molson beer

A month-long competition sponsored by the MAS and real estate blog Curbed has come to a close, with Liberty T. Rees winning the Shoot It Down contest by finding the best example of an outrageous oversized illegal ad. Her  picture of 1496 Second Avenue  (at left) shows a beer ad draped over a residential building on the Upper East Side. City regulations do not permit such ads in residential areas, and the sign would require a permit from the Department of Buildings, too.

For honorable mention, the judges decided on Patrick Moroney’s photo of the oversized sidewalk shed ad on a landmarked building at 459 Broadway.

All advertising on sidewalk sheds is illegal, unless the sign is for an establishment located in that building.

In May, the MAS and Curbed organized a competition to photograph the city’s most egregiously oversized, out-of-place ads. The intent was to call attention to the blight on the streetscape caused by illegal signage on buildings. Over the last month, the MAS received more than 50 entries. The competition’s winner receives a $100 gift certificate to the MAS bookstore, Urban Center Books.

illegal outdoor advertising 459 broadway

“The competition proved to be very successful and the extent of the illegal signage problem is very apparent. It was hard to choose from among these winning submissions,” said Vanessa Gruen, the director of special projects at the MAS.

Temporary signage, whether on construction sidewalk sheds or on scrim that covers temporary work, must have a permit from the Department of Buildings and comply with the city’s zoning regulations on signage. Almost all oversized signs on buildings are illegal unless they are in Times Square or on Seventh Avenue at 34th Street. Houston Street is also by and large excepted from the regulations.

Thanks to all the people who sent in pictures. Please continue to note illegal signs and to call 311 with the exact address of the building whenever you see one.