The mural on the tunnel wall where Beale Street goes underneath Harrison in Rincon Hill was supposed to be a tiny feel-good moment for the neighborhood, with tech and local color teaming up to create something cool.
Instead it’s another reminder that we just can’t have nice things, as vandals have damaged the piece beyond repair.
As Hoodline reports, the Beale mural was the product of a startup called SprayPrinter, which uses apps, special spray paint accessories for smartphones, and in some cases robots to reproduce computer images on walls. (Which is pretty cool.)
A Rincon Hill resident sold the company on painting a scene at the otherwise bland looking Beale Street underpass, and SprayPrinter completed the piece on March 22. The new mural depicted famous SF waterfront landmarks, including both bridges and the Palace of Fine Arts.
So SprayPrinter got to show off its tech and the locals got to brighten up an otherwise unattractive block, a true win-win scenario.
Then someone tagged the mural. Not to be discouraged, the company attempted to repair the damage, only for the vandals to actually come steal their paint. Then they tagged the mural again using the stolen materials later that night.
Now beyond repair, the SprayPrinter mural has been pretty much well ruined.
Of course, all of the vandals’ work has also been removed and the walls of the underpass are ordinarily as blank as a slate, so in effect all that was done was to keep the walls completely unadorned. Sure hope that was worth it.
SF Public Works reports that it spends $20 million annually on graffiti cleanup, and SFPD offers $250 rewards for tips that lead to the arrest of vandals. On private property, the burden falls on the owner to clean up the mess.
Ordinarily, graffiti taggers are less likely to pick on walls that have existing artwork on them. The Mission’s famous Clarion Alley started proliferating artwork specifically because it warded off the vandalism, and blank walls remain the most common targets.
But apparently some people are only interested in ruining things for the rest of us.