DOVER - A Dover resident is raising money to create a permanent commemorative marker that honors the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles birthplace, with original custom artwork donated by co-creator Kevin Eastman.
Co-creators Eastman and Peter Laird lived at 28 Union St. in Dover, where they founded Mirage Studios and created the popular ninja turtle comic in 1983. The project, endorsed by the Dover Arts Commission, would install a specialized maintenance hole cover on the sidewalk near where Eastman and Laird's house once stood, as it has since been demolished.
"As a lifelong TMNT fan who lives in the neighborhood, I'd often walk my dogs past the spot and think about how it deserves recognition," James Lane writes in his pitch on the Indieogogo fund-raising website. "In November 2020, I came up with this project idea and decided I could make it happen. Since then, I have been working with various municipal committees and departments, researching vendors and manufacturing processes, and developing a strategy. To my great joy, original creator Kevin Eastman has offered to donate new custom artwork."
Lane's original vision was to utilize a maintenance hole on the street in front of where 28 Union St. stood; however, he has agreed with the city's safety suggestion for installing the unique marker on the sidewalk instead.
Lane's fund-raiser is not through the City of Dover. Instead, he will raise money and donate it to the city for the TNMT commemorative marker. Lane estimates the total cost is $13,000. All funds raised beyond the expenses directly related to this project will be donated to the following turtle-related registered nonprofits:
The Seacoast Science Center in Odiorne State Park, in Rye, New Hampshire
Turtle Rescue League, in Southbridge, Massachusetts
Turtle Conservancy, in Ojai, California
Find the fundraiser here: http://www.tmntdover.com.
Separately, the Dover Arts Commission and the city's Planning Department are working with the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and the Department of Transportation to install a historical highway marker honoring the TMNT's birthplace at the intersection of Union Street and Central Avenue (State routes 9 and 108). Lane, the Arts Commission and the city plan to unveil the markers during Dover's 400 celebrations and TMNT's 40th anniversary.