Oct 26, 2021 - Business

Yes, it's OK to take a pic in the Thompson Center

Woman's face in building.

Monica defiantly takes a selfie in the Thompson Center after being told by a police officer it's against the law. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

👋 Hey it's Monica: Earlier this month I was reporting on the state of downtown lines these days. As I was shooting photos at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Thompson Center a police officer told me to stop.

  • "It's against the law to take pictures inside any state building," he said.
  • I told him I'd never heard such a thing, but complied and left.
  • Then I posted about it on Twitter.

Why it matters: I'm not the first person who's been told this about the Thompson Center and the DMV, but the "rule" is total baloney.

What they're saying: "That doesn't make a lot of sense," says Dave Druker, spokesperson for the Illinois Secretary of State's office, which runs the DMV.

  • "You can absolutely take a photo in the building," says Anthony Pascente, chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which runs the Thompson Center.
  • "Survey says: wrong," Ald Brendan O'Reilly wrote on Twitter.

The bottom line: I don't know where the cop came up with this rule. But anyone who wants to take a picture in the building before it meets its potential demise should feel perfectly free to do so.

Silver lining: The tweet prompted some good civic discussion and a droll response about the "rule" being the real reason Jimmy Smits' character met his demise in the building at the end of "Running Scared."


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