Businessman, Republican presidential nominee, and burnt loaf of a man Donald Trump has finally made good on a decades-old deal with the city by returning contentious public seating to the atrium of Trump Tower.
The bench debate stems back to Trump’s pact with the city to make the atrium of 721 Fifth Avenue a privately-owned public space in order to build a taller Trump Tower. As part of that agreement, the city has to approve the addition or removal of any furnishings in the atrium. Shortly after the building opened in 1983, a 22-foot long black marble bench was removed from the atrium.
Before the bench was removed altogether, it was covered in planters that rendered it useless as public seating. Trump justified that move thusly to the Department of Buildings: "We have had tremendous difficulties with respect to the bench—drug addicts, vagrants, et cetera have come to the atrium in large numbers ... Additionally, all sorts of 'horrors' had been taking place that effectively ruined the beautiful ambience of the space which everyone loves so much."
The Wall Street Journal reports that it is not the missing marble bench that’s been returned to the atrium, but four six-foot metal benches that have been screwed into the floor. Call it the allegory of the bench: Trump creates nice thing, reneges on promises surrounding said nice thing, makes it up with shittier thing to the dismay of people it affects. Trump feels no effect. Sounds familiar.
The public seating has returned only after Trump was fined numerous times—most recently $10,000 by the DoB—and after the the city demand Trump remove the kiosks slinging his eponymous merchandise from the public space.
- Disputed Bench Reappears in Trump Tower Lobby [WSJ]
- Donald Trump Fined Again For Removing Infamous Trump Tower Bench [Curbed]
- Trump Tower Lobby Will Lose Its Branded Merchandise [Curbed]
- Trump Replaces Public Seating With Eponymous Merchandise [Curbed]