Following questions on social media about the removal of a mural from a downtown building, Wichita Falls Development is wanting to set the record straight.
The three babies playing dice mural was on what is now the Wichita Falls Brewery building for about 6 years. Since its removal, some are speculating it was the city that took it down. Executive Director of downtown development Jana Schmader said that is not the case.
“It was actually taken down by the owners because they no longer wanted it there. They have plans to potentially move it on but it wasn’t taken down by the city. It wasn’t taken down because of any regulation,” Schmader said.
Schmader says Downtown Development loves when murals are placed on downtown buildings and would like to even see more.
“We love it. We think public art and cooperating arts into downtown revitalization is critical. People love art, we obviously have the art walk going on, art and soul next weekend, we want to support the arts in our city,” Schmader said.
Still, there are rules and regulations.
“If you have an idea or you are wanting to bring something forward you need the property’s owner permission and then bring that idea to Downtown Development we can kind of work with you through predevelopment to make sure you are getting all of the steps in line before you move forward,” Schmader said.
Stacie Flood with the Landmark Commission says even the building needs to be checked.
“There’s a process and you make an application to do the work and then the Landmark Commission looks at it and what is going to be best for the building structurally and to keep its historic integrity,” Flood said.
Flood says the Landmark Commission wants people to understand what kind of damage can be done if the art is painted directly onto historic brick and not first onto panels.
“Causes moisture to get locked into the brick and can cause mold and mildew issues,” Flood said.
The Landmark Commission, as well as, Downtown Development are hopeful business owners continue to want murals on their buildings, and continue to add that special touch to historic parts of downtown.
The former owner said the mural was taken down because they wanted to move it to their new building.
As far as the other mural removed from a building several months ago, that was removed due to it being classified as “graffiti.” The property owner and the rent owner did not want the mural there.
As far as any murals having to come down that are on historic brick, the Wichita County Heritage Society says removing that pain would actually do more harm than good.