Downtown Northfield hit with another graffiti outbreak

graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN

graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN

graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN graffiti in downtown Northfield MN
Several downtown locations (businesses and public spaces) were tagged with graffiti over the weekend. I’m not sure when it happened. The last time there was a big outbreak was in March of 2008.

We discussed the graffiti ordinance in depth here on LoGro in March, 2010.  At that time, the Streetscape Task Force (STF), the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC), and Northfield in Bloom were involved in addressing the problem but I don’t remember anything getting resolved. Anyone familiar with the current state of affairs re: graffiti?

I am going to suggest to the businesses to get a pressure washer to get the graffiti off. But any other suggestions would be great.

Update 11:20 PM: similar graffiti at the Carleton College Rec Center:

graffiti at the Carleton College Rec Center


  1. Kathie Galotti said:

    I noticed the Carleton Rec Center was hit yesterday as well.

    January 16, 2012
  2. kiffi summa said:

    Griff: Maybe you could ask the Police about the (was it ?) 6 k surveillance camera they bought the last time…

    As I recall they attached it to the North wall of Digs building, aimed it at the bottom of our driveway down to the parking, and found it did not do the job that was expected.
    Considering how widespread this is, how many locations, it’s surprising no nighttime police patrols caught any of it.

    The Carleton Rec Center is so far out of the DT concentration that it is a really strange location.
    What are kids doing up there in the middle of the night?

    January 16, 2012
  3. Jane McWilliams said:

    Kiffi – do you recall whether the council ever took action on an ordinance Chief Taylor brought to them back in April 2010? I can’t find a record of it.

    January 16, 2012
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Kathie (and Tony for the tweet) alerting me to the graffiti on the Carleton Rec Ctr. I took a photo and will post it later.

    January 16, 2012
  5. kiffi summa said:

    Jane: My recollection is that there was toooooo much opposition to that ordinance by building owners because it made them the ‘criminals’, if they didn’t adhere to its very strict removal tenets, and the ordinance did not take into consideration the strict admonitions against chemical and sandblasting removals, which are distinctly frowned upon n the Historic District.

    So the emphasis was on the victims, not the ‘perps’! SO never enacted, to my knowledge.

    The ‘kids’ usually know who these various tags belong to, if they are local, so I would, if I were the ‘City’, offer a large reward ( $1000 PLUS) to a Youth organization for info.; info coming from the youth organization, not a specific person.

    I don’t much approve of kids ‘ratting’ on kids, but this is such a costly and difficult problem for property owners that one might hope that the beneficial large $$ reward might out-trump the negative for the kids… and especially if it benefitted a youth organization, not just the personal source of info.

    Does “JO T S” have any knowledge of the fiscal damage that he/she is doing?

    What about the irony of the walkbridge notation of “Spred Love not Hate”

    January 16, 2012
  6. rob hardy said:

    I have nothing constructive to add, except that if you want to see nearly complete graffiti saturation of an urban area, visit Athens, Greece. (The word “graffiti” comes from the Greek word “graphein,” meaning “to write,” and graffiti thousands of years old has been unearthed in Athens). Even the ancient sites in Athens are not immune from spray paint. I’ve uploaded (if the upload actually works) a photo I took in March 2011 of graffiti on the Areopagus, the site of the western world’s first homicide court and the place where St. Paul (in the Acts of the Apostles) addressed the Athenians.


    January 16, 2012
  7. Sorry to see such destructive work. May the tagger grow to know the great effort people make to create a nice atmosphere for people to use and enjoy, and use his or her
    efforts to help make a functional world for everyone.

    There are so many better ways to use energy than this.

    January 16, 2012
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve added a photo of the graffiti at the Carleton College Rec Center to the blog post above.

    January 16, 2012
  9. Jim Haas said:

    I was reading a story by Porter Fox about his visit to Copenhagen. He mentioned in passing that the city is vigilant about removing graffiti using high-pressure washers with ice crystals as a mild abrasive. I did a little rudimentary research and found a few companies that sell portable high-pressure washers which blast dry ice — supposedly a gentle yet effective and environmentally friendly way to clean a variety of surfaces. I propose that some civic-minded person or group buy one of these and donate it to the city public works department, the police department, or the county probation department. The existing work crews operated by the probation department could deploy the machine at the request of any property owner or the police.

    January 20, 2012
  10. kiffi summa said:

    I would hope the City’s Historic Preservation Commission would explore this option, and the appropriateness/allowability for use on properties within the Historic District.

    Thanks, Jim.

    January 20, 2012

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