Wall Dogs

A fading memory
Writing for Biz Journals, Michael DeMasi reports on Albany, New York’s efforts to preserve fading advertisements on the sides of city buildings. As part of Albany’s Sculpture in the Streets exhibit (sponsored by the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District), the work of 19th and early 20th century “wall dogs” (muralists who adorned buildings with colorful ads), is being artfully preserved and repainted.
DeMasi writes that restoring these works that might otherwise have vanished with time provides us with “a fading memory of what downtown commerce used to be like.” In a time before changeable billboards, wall dogs produced a more permanent graphic intervention into the built environment. Look up the next time you pound the urban pavement, a fading memory might pass you by.