PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh waterfronts have become a major tourist draw in recent years, but the beautiful view showcased by Just Ducky’s tours has been marred by what was once an iconic sign atop Mt. Washington.
And today the mayor issued a stern warning to its owner Lamar advertising to do something about its rusting and deteriorating condition.
“You get up there and you take care of that sign. You either clean it, you remove it or you sell it or we’re going to have to start citing you,” said Peduto.
The fiery words came after we reported that a deal to upgrade and modernize the sign had fallen though. We reported that Giant Eagle wanted to enter a long-term deal to display its logo on the sign — but the Peduto Administration never acted on a permit application filed a year ago and Giant Eagle is no longer interested.
Today Peduto said Lamar misled the supermarket chain into thinking it could also use the sign for advertising, when prior sponsors Bayer and ALCOA knew the signs use was limited to community messaging.
“What they were trying to do was to go to Giant Eagle and tell them that they could advertise for chipped ham and the board would say what the specials are with Klondikes and milk and that was never going to happen in this city,” said Peduto.
Giant Eagle’s deal with Lamar would have meant a $3 million digital upgrade of the sign and a beautification project all around it. Lamar and Giant Eagle declined to comment, but Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith says the city walked away from a sweet deal — forcing Lamar to search for a new client.
“I’m not very pleased about it, because I think it was a great opportunity, I think a lot of people would have been agreeable that it was a reputable company,” she said. “I think we could have worked through whatever the concerns were.”
Both sides blame each other for the condition of the sign, but both want it cleaned up.
Until then, it remains a rusty eyesore.