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Elyria mural must come down for new library (UPDATED)

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    Jake Hochendoner, a photographer working for the mayor’s office, takes pictures of the mural on the side of Pioneer Plaza. The city is getting high-resolution images of the mural so it can be re-created at an undetermined location.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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    One of the bicentennial murals by artist Dave Pavlak will be coming down as the building will be demolished to make way for the new Elyria Central Branch Library.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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This article has been updated to more properly reflect the share of what the Elyria Public Library System and the city’s Community Improvement Corporation put up as their shares of the property purchase for the planned new Central Branch Library. 

ELYRIA — With the wall it occupies slated for demolition as part of the new Elyria Central Branch Library project, officials are trying to find ways to help one of the city’s three bicentennial murals live on.

Perched in a bucket lift Thursday, photographer Jake Hochendoner took pictures of the mural on the side of 322 Broad St. to produce high-resolution images so the entire mural “can be duplicated,” Mayor Holly Brinda said.

The bicentennial murals were designed by Elyria artist Dave Pavlak and dedicated in August 2017. Water damage already has caused some of the bricks on the one mural to push out and the paint to come off.

“It was not supposed to be an external wall,” she said. “There is water getting in behind that and causing damage.”

The wall the mural occupies previously was an internal wall, made of different brick and treated differently than external walls, Brinda said. Special sealant was put on the mural, but problems persist, she said.

The mural in question “will definitely be reproduced — possibly on Pioneer Plaza” in panel form, on the outside of the new library building, or as wallpaper on an interior library wall, Brinda said.

No final plans have been made, she said, but the city will work with the library on how best to re-create the mural. That includes working with an architect to determine where it might fit in the final design of the new Central Branch Library building.

What can’t be done is to replicate the mural exactly on the side of the new library because the building won’t be three stories tall, Brinda said.

The library’s new Central Branch is expected to cost $8 million and will be on 12 parcels of land totaling 1.25 acres at Broad Street and East Avenue, for which the Elyria Public Library System and the city of Elyria put $927,620 — $600,000 from the library and $327,620 from the city Community Improvement Corporation. 

Contact Dave O’Brien at 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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