We've spent a good chunk of time writing about illegal advertisements, but few have been as large — or caused as much fury — as this billboard in the West Village. Ever since the Equinox Health Club wrapped its Greenwich Avenue building with seemingly illegal ads, preservationists have been up in arms, according to Curbed.
In the past ten days, neighbors have filed nearly 50 complaints with the Department of Buildings about the gym, which happens to be in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Equinox has defended the ads, stating the "My Body. My Biography" campaign "celebrates our community of extraordinary members and their remarkable stories" while aiming to inspire others. "We chose our location in Greenwich Village to proudly launch and display this campaign because the history of the neighborhood is steeped in community, triumph over adversity, tradition, and honoring diversity."
Unfortunately, Equinox never filed for proper permits to install the ads, and as such, the local community board has sicced both the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Department of Buildings on the gym. The LPC has given Equinox twenty days to apply for a hearing to "cure the violation," while the DOB — which says the signs were installed without permits and appear to violate zoning regulations — will send an inspector to "take enforcement action as soon as possible."