McDaniel Mural in Downtown Springfield to be Removed

By Linda Ong |

Published 03/21 2014 10:47PM

Updated 03/21 2014 11:49PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's a piece of art that has become a familiar sight in downtown Springfield.

"Everyone knows what building you're talking about when you say the one with the mural on it, or the one with the artwork on it," said Krista Hammack, a Springfield Resident.

Hammack is one of many people who pass by the popular mural on the east side of the McDaniel Building in downtown Springfield.

"It's gorgeous, it's a part of Springfield," she said.

Bakers, dog walkers, and people on the run depict a time when downtown Springfield was starting to revitalize in the 2000's.

The original artwork by artist Ellen Shaeffer has deteriorated over the years. The project was originally funded by the Junior League of Springfield.

Building developer The Vecino Group is currently redeveloping the McDaniel Building into student housing. Vecino management, alongside other organizations involved in the creation of the mural, decided the artwork could not be preserved.

"Matt Miller, who is part of The Vecino Group who is revitalizing this building, contacted the people who were involved in the mural, and respectfully dialogued with us to make sure that we understood what was going on, we understood that the foundation that the mural was painted on was not strengthened before the mural was painted," said Susie Turner, President of the Junior League of Springfield.

Murals on private property that don't advertise are considered acceptable by the city, and it's the property owner who is responsible for the maintenance of the artwork.

According to a press release by The Vecino Group, this original foundation, coupled with wear and tear from weather, has made the mural difficult to preserve, and damage irreversible.

"I don't want to see it teared down because it's a piece of art," said Hammack. "I love it."

But the artwork won't be out of sight forever-- a plaque of the mural will serve as a way to save this snapshot of Springfield. The plaque will be placed on the same wall where the mural is now located.

"We're sad to see it go," said Turner. "But we're really grateful that she's being commemorated and her work will still live on."

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