By Steve Robinson | March 24, 2019 - 10:35 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – With Normal Town Council’s vote to approve construction of the proposed five-story Trail East Building in January, demolition of three buildings located at 104, 106, and 108 E. Beaufort St. is slated to begin within weeks. That demolition means losing the mural at 104 E. Beaufort St., which was once headquarters to The Pod art studio.

The Pod went out of business in 2017 but a small public outcry to try to save the mural started with news of the proposed demolition of the building. On Saturday, a Heartland Community College sophomore and Normal Community West High School graduate took it upon herself to invite the community to say farewell to the mural.

Emma Henry placed posters next to the mural protesting the decision to demolish the buildings and gave residents an opportunity to take pictures of the mural one last time Saturday afternoon. She said her goal with her “Save The Mural And Other Historic Buildings” event was to raise awareness about the situation and invite others to come get a last photo before the buildings come down. She posted the invite on Facebook.

“My goal is to bring awareness to what the Normal Town Council wants to do,” Henry said of the event. She taped posters next to the mural reminding people that April 2 is Election Day, a reminder that two Town Council members were up for reelection: Kathleen Lorenz and R C. McBride. A third Council seat is also up for grabs with the decision by Council Member Jeff Fritzen last fall not to seek another term. The two incumbents, six challengers, and a man running as a write-in candidate are vying for Council seats in this election.

Henry said she wanted her event “to be a positive thing with people to have one last chance to be near the mural.” She added when she posted the invitation she asked people to come out and remember the mural.

About 15-20 people arrived, a few taking photos, others getting in one last gaze at the artwork which was subdivided by artists who put their own personal flair into the mural. A few parts of the artistry had been signed by the artists.

“I didn’t want this as a protest,” Henry admitted. “I wanted it to be more like a celebration.”

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