Damaged mural should be replaced

Shock. Sadness. Tears.

It was an emotional day for many Tuesday as people learned that the 3D fish mural at the Chisholm Street pocket park had been ripped apart, taking much of the brick wall of The Local Basket Case with it.

Alpena Building Official Don Gilmet said several things probably contributed to the destruction, including the high winds Tuesday morning, the sails in the park that were attached to the mural, and the age of the bricks themselves.

“The sails were up and attached to the bricks and the bricks failed,” Gilmet said in a newspaper story Wednesday. “Those bricks are probably 110 years old and they didn’t build things back then the way they do today. The force of the wind in the sails pulled it down.”

Meanwhile throughout the day a stunned community walked by and viewed the mess left behind. Many had either contributed in the mural art process by painting some of the fish, or financially through a Patronicity campaign. The mural was a source of pride among residents and a popular spot to bring visitors for a photograph.

In the next weeks the lawyers and insurance agents will get involved in the process. Eventually construction of the wall will need done. Ultimately, however, it is essential that the mural be restored and put up again at that site. Nothing short of that is acceptable. The mural is more than artwork, it has come to represent the vibe, pulse and spirit of the community.

Structurally speaking, there are lessons to be learned from this disaster.

Once they are understood and corrected, the mural needs to return to its place of prominence and splendor.