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Rochester House mural to be expanded

January 21, 1998

Rochester House mural to be expanded

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The Rochester House mural may be expanded this spring to cover additional walls of the Rochester parking lot, officials said Tuesday.

City Council members said during Tuesday's work session that they would support a request for $3,000 toward the $6,000 project. The council could vote on the matter during next Tuesday's 7 p.m. regular meeting.

The city could raise funds toward its contribution by selling tickets to a house tour, just as they did to help pay for the original mural, said Barbara Bland, executive director for the Washington County Arts Council.

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The arts council board has approved providing $3,000 for the project, Bland said.

The original Rochester mural project came in under the $3,800 budget at $2,668, City Planner Kathy Maher said earlier.

The arts council provided $2,200 and the city gave $468 from house tour ticket sales, Maher said. Several local businesses donated supplies, she said.

The city's public works department could prepare the walls for the mural as it did for the original mural, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

The mural of the historic Rochester House was painted on the parking lot's retaining wall at the corner of South Prospect and West Washington streets last summer.

During the Civil War the Rochester House served as a makeshift hospital for Union and Confederate wounded. The house was sold to and razed by the City of Hagerstown in 1953 to provide off-street parking.

The faux stonework design will be painted on the walls facing South Prospect and West Washington streets as well as interior walls, Bland said. Vines and flowers will be added to the design.

Muralist Bettina Messersmith wants to work with student artists again for the rest of the mural.

Work on the expanded mural will be done in the spring in an attempt to get more students involved, Maher said.

Councilman Alfred W. Boyer suggested getting graffiti artists involved so they can use their skills productively.

The arts council didn't have much success finding graffiti artists with community service hours to perform last year, but would try again, Bland said.

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