That’s What They All Say: The Kinds of Things You’ll Be Hearing at the New Permit Office

Installed yesterday morning on the 3rd floor of the city’s new permit HQ and Green Resource Center at 1002 Washington Ave., which features dozens of other artworks: a text wall by Mary Margaret Hansen, the project’s lead artist. “Last spring, I filled entire yellow legal pads with transcriptions of real conversations, then got it all on a lengthy word document and finally edited it to phrases and expressions that best exemplify what happens when the city takes a look at a set of plans,” she writes. “Too wet! Mud in the beams. Call back when it dries up.” Also: “What about the fees?” and “I have lingering doubts.” Your favorites are all here. Or at least some of them:


Photos: Mary Margaret Hansen (top 2), Swamplot inbox (bottom)

11 Comment

  • A goverment agency with a sense of humor? Who woulda thought of that?

  • Second that – as long as said agency doesn’t just laugh your concerns right out of the office….

  • This is truly awesome. Kudos, Mary Margaret Hansen.

  • None of the clerks actually dealing with the public have any sense of humor at all. And would gladly get rid of the “art” in exchange for a modest pay raise.

  • “Take a number and have a seat. We’ll be with you in 2-3 hours”.

    That’s what I heard today while waiting in front of this mural. These guys are having a lot of trouble getting things going smoothly in their fancy new “green” building. At least they’re somewhat nice to you while they’re completely ruining your day.

  • I say kudos to the COH for repurposing this building. What a concept! (for them)

  • the COH permitting office sucks. the inspectors act like mini-gods, and there is nothing you can really do to challenge their decisions.

  • Mary Margaret Hansen IS a genius

  • As I have dealt with the city at the old location, I have learned that it’s the people who imput your information that deserves the credit. The building only houses the space. The art on the walls of the building are very colorful and are a welcome change from the old building. I have not seen the new building but have taken my plans out of the old building so that I know where they are today. I plan to wait til the dust settles before re-submittal.There is one note posted in the old waiting room that read:”TO AVOID PROJECT DELAY PLEASE INFORM THE INTAKE PERSON IF CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE PREVIOUSLY APPROVED SHEETS. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN A REJECTION,REQUIRING RE-SUBMITTAL FOR RE-REVIEW.” That was the only artwork that I could identify with, since it was my project that created that posted WARNING.

  • Thanks for all your comments.

  • I spent a few hours longer than I needed to at the building this week–I was that enthralled with the art. I’ve shared several shots of the various greatness there, including all the repurposed/unfinished materials. The elevator floors! The rust laden I-beams in the ground floor waiting area… I love this building. My visit was improved tremendously by the environment, and the people were good to me, too.