Someone has really gone to town plastering the corner building at Dwight and Fulton with graffiti (above). No part of the exterior has been spared: windows, walls, even the real-estate broker’s sign advertising the fact that the offices are up for lease or sale has been “tagged”.

The 20,500 sq ft building comprises 25 private offices and has been available — for $1.50/sq ft per month — since at least December 2007 by the look of the broker’s website. Not surprisingly, the photo accompanying the listing shows a graffiti-free facade.

Now we’re wondering: who’s responsible for cleaning up this eyesore?

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Ms. Menard, most tagging is not “gang graffiti” – it’s just tagging. This doesn’t make it any more ethical to mess up building like that but calling it “gang graffiti” without qualification like that is hysteria-mongering. “Gang graffiti” is real and when the real deal shows up its usually not a good sign but tagging in general is something else entirely. There are probably otherwise upstanding, non-gang-affiliated honors students at Cal or BHS who engage in occasional tagging.

    Also, what’s the “proximate cause” of blight there? The graffiti or the street-unfriendly architecture of an urban structure held unoccupied so long in perfectly legal ways?

    Finally, for Tracey: Who is responsible is whoever owns the place. If given notice they don’t clean up then the City can do it and put a lien on the place. The real fun starts in cases where the ownership records turn out to be incomplete or inaccurate so that the City can’t figure out whom to give notice and thus can’t trivially touch the property at all without risking all kinds of liability.

  2. The constant clean up and returning graffiti has been going on for years, and is an indication that the revision to the graffiti abatement program residents demanded the city undertake is yet another failure of Berkeley code enforcements program. We the community have provided models from city who have been successful even with gang graffiti problems.
    Gee, consider that I had to go to the grand jury for misfeasance to make the city do their first and most important service, public safety.