April 16, 2011; Source: New York Times | In a novel twist on the concept of architectural reuse, representatives from a New York City theater and a nonprofit organization came together last Friday to repurpose a controversial sign as a way to resolve a conflict in one downtown neighborhood.

The New York Times reports that in response to concerns from residents of New York City’s East Village about a sign outside a new Upright Citizens Brigade theater reading “Hot Chicks Room,” Amy Poehler, television star and a founder of the Brigade, presented the group Earth Matter with the sign in “an impromptu ceremony.”

According to the Times, the sign’s controversial phrase was a reference to a comedy skit that the Brigade created in 1998 and that has since taken on a life of its own. But the Times notes that the sign had been called “hideous and tacky,” “a bit frat-boyish,” and “selfish and ugly and out of place” at various points by other neighborhood residents.

In its new home on Governors Island at Earth Matter, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the art, science and application of composting in and around New York City, the sign will now adorn a compost learning center containing 30 baby chickens that need to remain at a steady temperature of 93 degrees for their first few weeks of life.

Whether or not the sign will affect attendance rates at Earth Matter or merely serve as a source of amusement to the organization’s founders and a reminder of their own resourcefulness might not, well, matter.—Anne Eigeman