Changes could come to historic mural in downtown Madison

Major changes could soon be coming to a mural near the heart of Madison’s downtown.

At the corner of Mifflin and Bassett, the ABC for Health building has featured a full-building mural for decades, since it was the Mifflin Street co-op.

“It’s the granddaddy of them all in Madison,” said Bobby Peterson, ABC for Health Executive director. “It has been around forever. A lot of people are used to it. They know it. Even to give directions to our building, they’ll say, the old co-op with the mural on it.”

The current mural, painted in the 1980s, is beginning to chip and fade, however.

Peterson said that has led ABC for Health employees to do more research on the building’s past.

“We started looking back at old pictures and past history,” he said. “That helped us see, this has gone through a number of different murals over the years.”

Eventually, Peterson and ABC for Health Chief Operating Officer Brynne McBride began to weigh the option of retouching the current mural, or creating an entirely new mural altogether.

“We’ve done a lot of internal mural meetings,” McBride said. “We’ve been getting ready to go to neighborhood meetings in the community. We’ve also been getting the timeline together, and budgets together.”

McBride and Peterson said they’re open to ideas of what to do with the space, and are taking suggestions on their website.

“We want to make this fun for the community,” McBride said. “This is a fun project.”

Ultimately, McBride and Peterson want the mural to capture the meaning of the neighborhood in which it resides.

The two are hopeful to finalize plans on the mural by the new year, and begin work by next spring.

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