Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
Even Cleveland, where he will star in tonight’s Republican Party presidential debate.
Isn’t it a bit odd that Donald Trump’s 2016 logo is so understated?
No, not “Make America Great Again”—I’m not talking about the campaign slogan, although we should, because you can now sport it yourself in the form of one of four trucker hats, just like the Donald does. I’m talking about the campaign logo: all-caps, sans-serif, T-R-U-M-P.
After all, this is a man who has hung his shingle in a whole lot of places. Those five letters grace skylines. This is not a man who would even deign to fly business class—and yet his official campaign logo looks coach. It’s nothing at all like the stately serif on the enormous sign that stands outside the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C., which Trump is currently turning into a hotel.
Supporters of Trump—who, improbably or not, number an awful lot of Republicans right now—will march bearing the less-luxurious “TRUMP” sign in Cleveland tonight, in advance of what promises to be a slobber-knocker of a GOP presidential debate. Yet there are cities across the nation where people carry very different signs with Trump’s name on it. Very different.
As it happens, he is not as welcome everywhere as he is in the hearts of Republican primary voters. Here’s a brief list of cities that are less than fond of the Donald.
Trump keeps suing D.C. restaurant owners
Trump’s comments on Mexican immigrants infuriated many Americans (although not the 28 percent of self-identified Republican primary voters who currently say they would like to nominate him for president). One such person was José Andrés, the chef, restaurant owner, and local celebrity in Washington, D.C. Andrés, who is a Spanish immigrant, backed out of his plans to open a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel opening in the gorgeous Old Post Office Pavilion downtown.
Arguing that the exit meant a breach of contract, Trump last week sued Andrés for $10 million. Another celebrity chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, followed Andrés out the door. Trump sued him for $10 million, too.
Trump plastered his name across Chicago’s skyline
Chicago may never forgive Trump for putting his name over the Chicago River in 20-foot letters. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the move “architecturally tasteless.” Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin called him a “comb-over vulgarian.” Adrian Smith, the architect who designed the building (and the look of many of Trump’s buildings), even felt the need to clarify: “I had nothing to do with this sign!”
"Donald Trump is everything that isn't Chicago," Neil Steinberg, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, told a local radio station. (For putting his name on his building!)
Trump turned a New York treasure into a Donald Trump store
New Yorkers may have many reasons to feel bitter about Trump, who after all was born in Queens and took over his father’s real-estate empire there. Maybe it’s best to focus on the latest outrage. How about this one: Trump has transformed the Trump Tower’s atrium—a privately owned public space—into a store devoted to all things Trump.
Trump dumped New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
Trump might sometimes be likened to a force of nature, but even he must bow to the real thing. Developers formally announced the $400 million Trump International Hotel & Tower on August 26, 2005—the day before Hurricane Katrina turned toward New Orleans. The project, which The Times-Picayune called “excessively hyped,” never recovered. The hotel and condominium tower was declared dead in 2011, although the signage lingers on.
It should be said that Trump himself had little to do with the project in New Orleans. There, as in other places, he lent his name to outside developers to drive up buzz and values. That’s not necessarily an argument in his defense.
Trump left Atlantic City when it needed him
Here’s what he told The Washington Times back in April:
I got out seven years ago, and I made a great decision; I’ve been given a lot of credit for that. My timing was good because I could see what was going to happen to Atlantic City. And it’s very sad when I look at it, but [my former business partners] haven’t.
I made a lot of money in Atlantic City, I had great success there, but … I left. I feel badly because Atlantic City is warm to my heart.
That warm feeling is not mutual.
Trump struck a deal to keep his name on the Trump Taj Mahal Casino, whose newest owner, Carl Icahn, is mired in a labor dispute that has sparked mass protests. One demonstration in June drew more than 1,000 protesters and even resulted in 68 arrests in June. Trump has said that he had nothing to do with mismanagement at that casino or at the Trump Plaza, a casino that shuttered in September and may stay closed for 10 years to save on taxes.
Trump’s comments about the Trump Taj Mahal sound an awful lot like his comments about America. “The Trump Taj Mahal, under the right leadership and with the proposed significant reinvestment in the property, can be, once again, a wonderful place for travel and entertainment," he said in a statement. Let’s make Trump great again!
Trump deeply insulted the nation’s fastest-growing demographic
The reason Trump is no longer welcome in Laredo, Texas, or any other border town you care to name, is the same reason that the Republican Party will not win the White House in 2016 so long as Trump is topping the GOP polls. A house divided shall not stand, and insofar as Trump’s popularity derives from his nativist comments in July, the Republican Party is bound to lose with Latino voters.
Not only did he grossly insult the country’s Latino population—whose numbers are surging in America—he doubled down on those offensive comments afterward and has not backed down since. Mexican authorities, he insists, are directing rapists and criminals across the border into the U.S.
"They're sending criminals to us and we're sending those criminals to jail, oftentimes after they've killed somebody or hurt somebody," he told reporters in Los Angeles.
Expectations for Trump’s performance in tonight’s GOP debate couldn’t be much lower. Or maybe they couldn’t be any higher. All I expect is for Cleveland to come away irritated.
Oh, wait. Cleveland probably doesn’t love his jokes about buying the city’s baseball team.