The large mural of former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders still towers over a corner in Philadelphia's Southwest Center City section and will remain there for the near future, but it could be demolished.
Max Glass, majority owner of the building on the southeast corner of 22nd and Catharine Streets, was part of a pro-Sanders group that created the mural to show public support for the Vermont senator ahead of the Democratic presidential nomination.
We all know that Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton, who then lost to Donald Trump.
But Glass, 29, still believes the mural, titled "Philly the Bern," resonates with people today.
"I care about the mural image," he said Friday. "The mural is very special. It’s beautiful and meaningful. And it still remains relevant because Bernie is still out there as a voice for progressives, still has a huge amount of grassroots support."
Glass, who is a developer, has plans to transform the property at 2146 Catharine Street into a mixed-use space with a restaurant and residential units. He currently uses the building for storage.
"It’s not imminent and it’s not definite," he said. He still needs to get approval and permits, secure financing and land a restaurant tenant.
But if all goes as planned, the building would be demolished to make way for a new building, he said. And that means "the mural will be demolished — unless somebody wants it."
"I dream about it. People pay for great art," he added. "The scale is what's so striking."
Maybe Sotheby's could auction it, he adds. Maybe someone would be willing to pay to remove the bricks one by one, then have the mural re-installed elsewhere.
Or if that is too expensive, maybe resources would be better spent commissioning the artists to paint it again in a new location, he said.
The 67-by-36-foot mural, which shows Sanders with blue rays shining out from behind him, the Vermont mountains and hills, and a Philadelphia cityscape, was funded by online donations and produced by Glass and photographer Conrad Benner, who blogs under the name Streets Dept.
The artists known as Old Broads and Disto took five days to paint it, and finished the project on March 11.
"I want to keep that mural alive even if the building is demolished," Glass said. He welcomes readers' ideas.
If you have an interest in preserving the mural in some way, contact Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org.