Among Philadelphia’s thousands of outdoor murals, many are worth restoring when they become battered by the elements over time. But there are some that should not be saved.
The city’s iconic Common Threads mural by Meg Saligman at Broad and Spring Garden Streets is one worth preserving. So it was welcome news that funding was found to conduct repairs that enabled the city’s Mural Arts Program (muralarts.org) to rededicate the mural recently.
Mural Arts director Jane Golden also took the occasion to announce a new push to bolster a much-needed restoration fund. The aim is to triple the number of restorations possible each year — from 10 to as many as 40 — so that the city’s most cherished murals do not simply fade away.
Another mural-preservation campaign, though, demonstrates that there are some murals the city simply has to let go. Case in point: the lovely Autumn mural, by artist David Guinn, at Ninth and Bainbridge Streets in Bella Vista. Like hundreds of other city murals, Autumn fronts a vacant lot that — but for the stunning artwork it heralds — stands as a challenge to a city struggling to grow and prosper.