The Mervyn’s at Broadway and Brand Boulevard, one of the city’s most prominent commercial corners, has sat vacant for months. It’s more than an eyesore: It’s depressing, a constant reminder of the stale economic mess we’ve all found ourselves in.
The vacant storefront is the ultimate sign of economic distress, especially once it starts to meld with the landscape, as if it’s been there all along. So a program approved by the City Council this week to mask the economic bitterness with a bit of artful sugar should be a welcome reprieve, if for no other reason than shoppers and commuters will no longer be confronted with the recession.
The program, in which a third-party firm will coordinate art displays and galleries in vacant storefronts, has been successfully implemented in other cities such as Long Beach, where residents there have benefited from the visual easement of failed businesses downtown.