Beautification Project Brightens Burned Warehouse Remains


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —  Habitat for Humanity is heading a beautification project in North Springfield to restore what’s left of the old, burned down Victory Mission warehouse.

The organization partnered with Moon City Creative District to change up the scenery. A mural on the Mission’s old concrete foundation on Chase Street went up in just a matter of hours, but it’s a message organizers are hoping will stick around.

With The Beatles’ classic “All You Need is Love” playing over speakers at the Art Takeover event, volunteers got the message.

Love, and a little paint, is what it took to transform a blank wall into a great wall.

“It’s almost a throwback to the 60’s, for those of us who remember the 60’s,” Larry Peterson, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity, said.

He called in reinforcements for Saturday’s revitalization project.

“My daughter’s 14, so I had to drag her kicking and screaming to get here, but now I’m probably gonna have to drag her kicking and screaming to leave,” he said.

But it seems, everyone else had backup, too.

“They’ve got a lot of wall to paint, and then when I drove up I saw how much they’d gotten done,” he said.

Marian Chamberlain, one of the project’s main organizers and artists, is happy to have the help.

“This is art that everyone can own, so if you come out and work on it, part of it’s yours,” Chamberlain said.

She explains the inspiration behind dirtying her brushes to clean up the area.

“We wanted to do something that had a natural feel, we wanted to do something that was environmentally based, and this is something we came up with, and it just flowed,” she said.

The flowers, bees, and moon painting flowed into a pond painted on a concrete portion of the ground, and across a lower wall.
“We started with air, and went to land, and ended with water,” she said.

Moon City is the name of the creative district responsible for the art, and spans 10 blocks along Commercial Street. The residential neighborhood where the mural sits is Woodland Heights.
Saturday, several volunteers had already affectionately adopted the name: “Woodland Wall.”

“Wow, this definitely won’t take as long as the Great Wall of China,” Peterson said.

That’s thanks to all the diligent volunteers committed to a brighter backdrop, and some serious support on a Saturday.
“I’ve got to get back to work,” Peterson said, smiling as he picked up another paint brush.

Next weekend, Moon City is painting more utility poles to continue the beautification of the district. Habitat says that, coupled with what could come out of the Kearney Street revitalization project, could be a miracle for the look and feel of North Springfield.

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