Work begins Monday in Auburn on Main Street mural

AUBURN — The days are numbered for the 770-foot-long mural along Main Street in Auburn.

Main St Mural
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Rebecca Poirier of Auburn walks past the mural on Main Street in Auburn Friday. The mural is slated to be demolished next week as crews begin a road-narrowing project aimed at beautifying the city.

Crews Monday begin work narrowing the road between Academy Street and Little Androscoggin Bridge, part of a summer-long beautification project.

But work on the mural itself, stretching along the east side of Main Street from the northern Newbury Street intersection to the southern Newbury Street intersection, begins a week or two later.

"We'll be power washing it and then sand blasting it," said Reine Mynahan, Auburn's community development director. "We'll put a sealer up on it and we'll paint over, for the last time."

The mural, drawn by school students in 2001, will be replaced by a more portable art display. Mynahan said the city, working with L/A Arts, will asking local artists to design a new mural in August. It will be photographed and printed on a durable foam boards that will be affixed to the wall in permanent frames. There will be nine 24-foot-long panels and four 4-foot long panels.

"It will cover the whole stretch of that wall and will include plantings and refurbished sidewalks the entire way," he said.

The city has been working on replacing the mural for the last two years.

"The wall was really built without good drainage, and there has been a lot of water seeping out over the years," she said. "It's why there is so much cracking and peeling and splitting on the wall and why the mural looks so weathered."

This will be the third art display along the wall. The first mural, depicting rural Maine scenes, went up the early 1990s but was replaced in 2001.

Area school children worked with a local artist to design scenes for individual sections of the wall. Some depict balloons from the Great Falls Balloon Festival, while others show shoes being made. Another depicts a scene from the Great Auburn Fire of 1933.

The latest project is part of the overall street-scape improvements for Main Street. Last year, crews repaved and rebuilt the road between Court and Academy streets, adding new curbs, narrowing the road and building grassy esplanades  in places.

The same kind of changes are in store for the southern stretch. Community Specialist Tracey Steuber said the city is adding a grassy esplanade to the northern sidewalk and installing new street lights along the road.

Traffic along the road won't be detoured and lanes won't be closed during most of the work, but lanes will be shifted and there will be flaggers and traffic controls onsite for the duration of the work. Area businesses will remain open.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

ignorance

The ignorance of posters on this site amazes me. Why don't you get off your butts and participate in the community instead of commenting. You rarely have all the facts, and most of the time have little ability to comprehend the facts.

The City of Auburn is doing a good thing. Shut up already.

 's picture

What?

Considering that many of the Somalians have rebuilt the business industry of Lewiston and created an infrastructure why tear it apart? Is it that little racist streak that you have going there ajg? That drug screen would mean a lot of white kids get hauled in as well and denied welfare not just Somalians. The Somalia's have skills in business industries and have shown it as they renovate and restore the downtown business structure. How long has racism and ignorance run in that family that you have ajg? You live everywhere yet you claim ignorance in everyone of the posts which you litter about here. I wonder what skills and industry you have other then running you're mouth.

 's picture

Tron, what green monstrosity

Tron, what green monstrosity are you referring to? Not the newly renovated green apartment building?

 's picture

Billboards?

Since it's against the law to display a billboard how can it be lawful to display a huge mural? I think you will find that this mural is unlawful if tested in a court of law.

 's picture

Have school children redo the mural!

Why not have school kids do it again?

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