Since 9/11 an unpopular new form of urban sculpture has appeared around town in the form of security barriers and planters. Nearly 70 buildings around town added them without government funding, only to now be told to take them away. Though the barriers seemed like a good idea initially to owners of many "at risk" buildings, they have quickly proven to be little more than a deterrent for pedestrians (not to mention giant ashtrays for office drones).

“Physical barriers in New York City really aren’t very practical,” said James Jay Carafano, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation specializing in homeland security. “Trying to childproof America is a really dumb idea. The most cost-effective thing to do is to keep terrorists out.”

No surprise, the switch to get rid of the planters has pissed off many building owners. Having spent quite a sum of cash to provide security barriers which were "effective" and/or "elegant" who wouldn't be miffed? We, however, couldn't be less sad to see them go. While we understand the sentiment behind them, we were never really convinced they served much practical use. Especially after we learned that "a poorly anchored planter, struck hard enough by explosive force or a speeding vehicle could become, to use police jargon, “weaponized”: it could shatter into deadly shards or go flying."

Detail of planters by triborough via Contribute.