A ten year old mural featured on the side of a building at the intersection of 16th street and Montgomery avenue will be covered up by a new student housing development designed to serve Temple students. The mural is called "In Living Memory: Those of Us Alive" and depicts a message about the dangers of second hand smoke. The Philly based artist, John Lewis, told the Temple News that, while he would rather it not be covered up, he understands, and is OK with it.
Last year, a Noam Chomsky mural was covered up by a new development at 19th and Fairmount. In 2011, an autumn themed mural in Bella Vista was covered up by a townhome, in spite of spirited opposition, and a petition with 1,000 signatures in favor of keeping the mural up. A man interviewed in The Temple News said that a mural of Cecil B. Moore, a famed Philly civil rights leader, was obscured, and that he felt "some way about that because he was a civil rights leader. If you're covering it up can you at least put it somewhere else? At one time [the murals] served a purpose but the neighborhoods changed."
Though it's true that saving an empty lot to keep a mural visible seems a little ridiculous, it's interesting to see which murals generate controversy and which don't. It seems that there's no official mechanism in place to protect murals from being covered up. Have you seen a mural covered up that you wish was still around? Do you know of some murals you'd like to see obscured from view? Hit the tipline and let us know.
· New housing will obscure years-old off-campus mural [The Temple News]
· Tom Ford [Official Site]