Photo by JP.Harron
PPG Place in Pittsburgh is a dazzling skyscraper and plaza complex that houses shops, restaurants, a glass-enclosed event space and ice rink. It also has a stringent no photography policy. After hearing numerous complaints over the years, a couple of writers from The Globe, the paper of Point Park University, decided to challenge that and brought their cameras to the plaza.
They were indeed approached by security and asked to leave. Puzzlingly, they were even told they could only take photos at eye level, not looking up. When they asked why, another guard gave the usual: ““Since 9/11, they don’t want people taking pictures here. You know what 9/11 is, right?” Right.
The thing is, even though the complex is privately owned, it’s an odd policy to enforce given its many public uses — and the fact that one could legally take photos of anything visible from a public sidewalk. The policy seems not only counter-intuitive but futile. Said photojournalism professor Chris Rolinson:
It’s a public space. They treat it as such,” Rolinson said. “The Constitution says there is no expectation of privacy in public because it is a public place, and people should be allowed to take pictures there.
And then the real head-scratcher was the statement from PPG’s owner, Grubb & Ellis, which said in part:
We will not prohibit that Kodak moment; we have never prohibited that at PPG. … We have eased up on photography, but not to the point where we would allow it.
Article from The Globe