Baltimore Considers Painting Over “Greatest City in America” Benches

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Photo via Flickr users Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner
Photo via Flickr users Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner

Every year or so, Baltimore gets a new slogan– Believe; The City That Reads; and most enthusiastically, The Greatest City in America.

Now that it’s 2015, it’s time for the city to re-brand itself once again. This time, the city has settled on “Baltimore: Birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s a slogan that John Waters himself has deemed un-mockable (so far). Which is probably a boon to city planners, but less exciting for the rest of us. Even more bafflingly, the city seems to think that this new historical reference in our slogan will drive tourism. Sure — because nothing says “book me a hotel room” like “birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner”!

But the truly tragic news is that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is considering painting over all those Baltimore: The Greatest City in America benches and replacing them with the new slogan. That is a patently bad idea. Those old benches have become a Baltimore icon. The mayor shouldn’t get rid of them unless she has a really, really good reason to.

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  1. I agree. I just moved to Baltimore and I think they are a wry wink to the rest of the world. Plus paint and painters are expensive. If we have extra budget for that, let’s apply it to some schools or maybe to some of the sad, outdated signage downtown. If we have to live with a wonky new slogan,at least let’s let the benches fade into distinguished relic status.

  2. This would be a terrible waste of money. I’m curious what the cost was even to come up with a new slogan. Basically any minute that anybody in the city spent in this effort in any way at all is a total waste of what could have been spent in actually useful efforts. I can’t say enough about this administration’s misplaced priorities.

  3. I enjoy the benches. Who doesn’t appreciate the irony of a broken down, trash strewn bench next to an over flowing trashcan littered with used heroin needles touting we are living in the midst of “THE GREATEST CITY IN AMERICA!”

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