Is Four Seasons Total Landscaping a Historic Site? – SURFACE
Should Four Seasons Total Landscaping be Listed on the National Register of Historic Places? More than 4,300 people think so, according to an online petition. “We as a nation must remember where the travesty of the Trump administration died with a whimper,” writes Sheridan Hurd, who started the petition, on change.org.
First, some background stories: On November 7, just before Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election was called, Donald Trump tweeted that his lawyers would hold a press conference in Philadelphia. The location caused a lot of confusion, however – he initially said the conference would be held at the Four Seasons, Philadelphia, but later made it clear that he was not referring to the five-star hotel that recently opened in the tallest building in the city. He was actually referring to Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a seemingly innocuous little business nestled between an adult bookstore and a crematorium ten miles away in the city’s industrial zones.
The dreary place seemed a strange place for Trump’s campaign to hold a press conference, mostly to convince voters that he still had a chance to win an election that quickly turned against his favor. Many wondered whether Trump had actually intended to book the Four Seasons Hotel and had made a mistake about the location approval. (The hotel even tweeted a correction.) To make matters worse, his attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was standing in the background by a wall of recently outdated Trump pence election signage, insisted that Trump would not give in, claiming for no reason that the Pennsylvania ballot papers had been tampered with, and insisted that the campaign file a lawsuit because Republican observers were not allowed to see the ballot papers. Despite Giuliani’s claims, there is currently no evidence of significant electoral fraud, and the Department of Homeland Security’s electoral infrastructure government coordination council declared the 2020 election “the safest in American history.”
Widespread hilarity and ridicule on social media followed, with many viewing the spectacle as a poignant metaphor for the impending failure of the Trump campaign. Design critic Justin Davidson, who wrote for Curbed, summed up the scene with poetic prose. “Four Seasons Total Landscaping combines the slabs of the lonely border wall and the graffiti-encrusted bathroom of Lafayette Square as true monuments of an administration that is concerned with ugliness and pathetic facades. The photos taken at the event had the absurdity of America’s worst urban landscapes and the richness of an allegorical painting. The mess of cables from the sound system lay sloppily piled up on the asphalt, the emblem of every mutilated message. The focus is on a little man behind a cheap lectern trying to convince a weary nation that this gimcrack spectacle must never end. “
Despite the logistical antics of the Trump campaign, Four Seasons Total Landscaping made the most of the spectacle. The company’s CEO, Marie Siravo, made it clear on social media that her company – now catapulted into the public eye – is not for Trump but would have honored itself to host a press conference for every presidential candidate. “We firmly believe in America and democracy,” said a company statement. The day after the conference, Four Seasons unveiled a range of T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, face masks and other Gewgaws with the slogans “Lawn and Order” and “Make America Rake Again”. It also tweeted a picture of its now famous parking lot as a backdrop for Zoom meetings and even hired a “freelance brand revitalizer” to bolster its newfound social media fame.
But can the place even be qualified as historical? According to the National Park Service, locations may be included in the National Register based on architectural or historical importance, including association with notable people or events. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 mandates that anyone can begin nominating a property for inclusion. An Old Slater Mill complex in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was the first property to be added to the list.
The petition’s signatories argue that while the property is not architecture noteworthy, its inseparable ties to Trump’s failed presidential campaign should make it worthy of it. “This is a truly historic place,” wrote James Cole, who signed the petition. “It marks the end of a bland, incompetent, fascist regime in the most transparent way. What better sign of pure American charlatanism than this? ”Even if the petition ultimately fails, support for Siravo to be named Person of the Year by Time Magazine will grow. We’ll be satisfied either way.