RNC Host Committee use banners to cover blight

RNC Host Committee use banners to cover blight
Banners cover empty storefront
Banner on Euclid. (Source: WOIO)
Banner on Euclid. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Members of the Cleveland 2016 Host committee placed banners around downtown covering the windows of abandoned buildings and storefronts.

"[We placed them] in pedestrian corridors where we've identified gaps. So where visitors are walking along and there may not be anything interesting to look at, we've added them there to kind of fill those gaps in the visitor experience," said Hannah Belsito of the 2016 Host Committee.

One of the areas that received the treatment was the store front of the old Cleveland Athletic Club. The windows on that building are covered with facts about Cleveland and its history.

Cleveland 19 asked if the host committee was just covering up the problems that the city has.

"We're not trying to cover them we're just trying to enhance the pedestrian experience along that journey," said Belsito. "We know that safety is [important and] sometimes people feel less safe when they see abandoned buildings, so adding some vibrancy to those storefront windows can really enhance the visitor experience."

Cleveland 19 saw several people walking past the windows, reading the facts. Everyone was pleased with what they saw.

"Making things look nice it's like really good for the city it's kind of like cleaning things up not just for the visitors, for the RNC, but just like for people who live around her I think it makes everyone feel better," said Sara Cottrell.

Belsito said the host committee made individual agreements with each of the private owners of the buildings with the banners. She said that the signs will not stay up past the time of the RNC.

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