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Hager Center mural might be replaced

January 19, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown City Council is considering whether to hang large-scale reproductions of historic photos to replace the deteriorating mural on the north side of the Elizabeth Hager Center.

City Planner Alex W. Rohrbaugh told the council on Jan. 13 that the Hagerstown Beautification Advisory Committee came up with the idea.

The photos would be about 4 feet by 8 feet and depict Hagerstown's past, Rohrbaugh said. They would be made of waterproof, ultraviolet laminate material and inserted into aluminum frames.

Rohrbaugh said the Historic Beautification Advisory Committee solicited quotes for the project. Each photo, including the frame, picture and installation, would cost about $1,060, he said. That cost could be covered by a grant and the city's General Fund.

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Rohrbaugh presented the council with photos from Annapolis, where historic photos are being used to spruce up the appearance of older buildings with weathered walls.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said because of their size, it might take 20 of the photos to cover the Elizabeth Hager Center's wall.

"I just have trouble visualizing it," he said.

City Planning Director Kathleen Maher said she would like to know the council's decision by next month so she can apply for the grant by the March deadline.

Another proposal, Maher said, was to hire high school students to paint a new mural.

The cost to remove the existing mural, which shows several scenes of Hagerstown's historic past, has been estimated at $4,300 to $40,000, Public Works Director Eric Deike said.

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