Detroit's Whale of a Mistake

From the anything-for-money file: owners of the blighted Broderick Tower in downtown Detroit covered up the humpback whales mural painted on the side of the building by globally renowned artist - and Detroit native -Robert Wyland with an advertisement for Verizon Wireless.

So, instead of an interesting and unique piece of public art that engages people in the city, Detroiters now have a 16-stories-tall picture of the "can you hear me know" guy.

Some say whales don't belong in Detroit. But, like the Spirit of Detroit and the Joe Louis fist, Wylands' Whales were on the way to becoming a signature piece of the Motor City. Now they're just another casualty of the city's ongoing struggle to execute a future-oriented revitalization strategy.

Mass rapid transit. Diversity. Historic preservation. Collaboration. Public art. These are the basic elements of prosperous cities. Yet Detroit seems to reject them at every turn.