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City Council decides bare wall isn't so bad

July 15, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A proposal to spruce up the exterior north wall of the Elizabeth Hager Center was rejected by the Hagerstown City Council Tuesday during a work session.

City Planning Director Kathleen Maher and City Planner Alex Rohrbaugh asked the council to consider hanging all-weather photographs depicting Hagerstown's past on a portion of the bare brick wall.

The council had the choice of hanging four 4-foot-by-8-foot photographs or three 8-foot-by-10-foot photographs, according to city documents.

Maher also suggested a mural could be painted on fabric and then hung on the wall, which is at 14 N. Potomac St. and faces the city parking lot.

In the end, however, the council agreed the estimated $5,000 cost was too expensive.

The council's decision means the city will have to return a $1,000 Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area grant that could have been used to help fund the project.

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Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said although he frowns on returning grant money, the proposal was too costly to pursue.

Last spring, workers removed a mural from the Elizabeth Hager Center wall after the paint began to peel. The mural, painted in 1996, also depicted scenes of the city's past.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the wall looks fine the way it is.

"The bare wall isn't as ugly as we thought it would be," he said.

The council agreed to revisit the issue at a later date.

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