- Posted November 10, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Iconic Wisconsin mural threatened
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Community members are rallying to preserve a vintage hand-painted pop art advertising mural of a Budweiser bottle and two cans painted on grain silos at the end of Washington Street in downtown Manitowoc, WI that have stood as an iconic landmark for 60+ years. In a Fox news report on Thursday, John Salzman, age 68, of Manitowoc was quoted as remarking that when he was in the service, he always knew he was home again when he laid eyes on the Bud bottle and cans.
The mural is fast-tracked to be obliviated by sandblasting on Monday. Community members, artists and expats are mourning and protesting this expedited decision which only came to light this week. The compelling reason to destroy this historic landmark? None. The city planner decided to invoke an archaic city ordinance pertaining to 'signs' and pursued enforcement applied to the iconic piece of vintage roadside Americana. Sadly, the current mayor of Manitowoc has no interest in advocating on behalf of the community in such a situation. Community members are planning a vigil to rally support tomorrow night, Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7pm CST to continue raising awareness of this historic landmark in imminent peril. The vigil will have to be candle-lit as for the first time in recent memory the end of Washington Street has gone dark. With the preparations afoot for the sandblasting, the lights, which until have illuminated the landmark, have gone dark.
National award-winning artist Jason Prigge spent the day Saturday painting a plein air portrayal of the iconic view to garner additional notice. A groundswell of support for preserving the mural manifested in the folks who stopped to photograph the piece, chat about the landmark and honk with thumbs up while driving past. An online petition is also being circulated. It is critical that this issue receive attention immediately, however, due to the imminent doom. Hopefully government at its worst will not prevail.