Philly committee moves 3-D displays forward

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 Proposed UED globe at 12th and Arch streets in Philadelphia.  (Image courtesy of Catalyst Outdoor)

Proposed UED globe at 12th and Arch streets in Philadelphia. (Image courtesy of Catalyst Outdoor)

A Philadelphia City Council committee has given the green light to a new type of advertising display in a small area of Philadelphia, but you won’t see it popping up overnight.

The proposal calls for three UEDs — or Urban Experiential Displays — as a test at the Convention Center, 12th and Arch and the Bellevue Garage. The three-dimensional displays are part billboard, part announcement.  The idea is to use art to convey a message, said Thaddeus Bartkowski of Catalyst Outdoor Advertising.

“It’s about creating a multifaceted communication platform that’s able to add vibrancy in unique commercial corridors,” he said Tuesday during a hearing before the City Council committee

Activist Michael McGettigan, who said he sees no art in the plan, set up a distracting display during the hearing to illustrate his claim that show the UEDs are nothing more than billboards. 

“I may be the first person to go on record as saying, ‘I’m sorry, those are fugly,”‘ McGettigan said.

If the full Council approves the displays, they would still require other approvals before any installation could begin. The state Department of Transportation, for instance, would have to approve because some of the UEDs would be in the path of state highways.

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