Trump’s Buildings Are Finally Being Put To Good Use: As Protest Sites

In cities like New York, Chicago and Washington D.C., Trump Towers provided a striking backdrop for anti-Trump protests.

Trump’s Buildings Are Finally Being Put To Good Use: As Protest Sites
[Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images]

Last night, protestors across the nation took to the streets to oppose the election of Donald Trump. In cities dotted with Trump real estate, many of the demonstrations were centered around Trump-owned properties—turning a series of luxury hotels into a striking backdrop for political activism.


The Trump Organization owns property in 19 cities across the globe. In New York, where the Trump real estate empire is most prominent, thousands of protesters marched some 40 blocks from Union Square to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue. Another large group of protesters occupied Trump International Hotel and Tower a few blocks north, at Columbus Circle. In downtown Chicago, demonstrations centered around the colossal Trump Hotel that dominates the city’s skyline, and in Washington D.C. protesters gathered in front of the Trump hotel located less than a mile from the White House. At Trump properties in Waikiki beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, and on the Las Vegas strip, where protests were smaller, demonstrators still came out with handmade signs.

While activists have a long history of transforming public spaces into sites for political demonstration, occupying the streets and sidewalks in front Trump properties provides a particularly potent sense of poetic justice. The Trump Organization’s luxury properties are towering physical manifestations of his destructive world view. Last night, protesters demonstrated their opposition to those ideals by re-appropriating and repurposing those buildings for the masses.

Take a look:

New York City

Thousands of protestors in New York marched from Union Square to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue last night to gather outside of the building where Trump lives. Police put up barricades to block off space for protesters in front of the tower on 5th avenue, and protesters climbed up and hung from the scaffolding across the street.


Another group gathered a few blocks north, at the Trump Tower in Columbus Circle


In Chicago, as many as 2,000 demonstrators protested near Trump Tower and marched through downtown, at one point filling all six lanes of North Michigan Avenue.

Chicago wins for most inventive signage:


Washington D.C.

In D.C., protesters gathered outside the White House, where they held an anti-Trump vigil before marching to the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, a relatively modest crowd of about two dozen gathered before the Trump hotel on the strip, briefly blocking traffic.

Honolulu, Hawaii

While there was not an official protest outside of the oceanfront Trump in Waikiki Beach, these students showed up anyways, with some A+ signs.


About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.