Murals depict historic images from Rochester's rich past

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Workers apply vinyl murals to downtown buildings. (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - Rochester Main Street announced recently that four vinyl murals depicting historic Rochester have been installed in Shaw Park on the municipal campus.

According to Matt Wyatt, RMS board member and co-founder of the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, the murals were created using high-resolution scans of vintage postcards that were sourced from the Rochester Historical Society & Museum.

"It was nice to work with the Historic Society to create this series," said Wyatt. "We scanned old postcards and worked with AMI Graphics to enlarge and install them. Now when people visit downtown, they can see a bit of our rich history and hopefully make a plan to visit the museum to see more."

The murals are on view on the side of the Fire Department, facing City Hall. They show scenes of old downtown, the Hanson Street Band, Rochester Common, and Wallace Shoe Factory. Each piece is approximately 12ft wide.

Approved by the Rochester Planning Board in the summer of 2022, the vinyl murals are made from high-quality, UV-protected material that is weather resistant and long-lasting. Each mural is applied with 900°F heat in order to remove any air between the material and the surface area. Eventually, when the time comes to remove it, the same heat is applied, the material is peeled off, and there is no damage to the surface below.

Mayor Paul Callaghan was on-site during the installation. Callaghan says he is supportive of any project that positively enhances the visual landscape of downtown.

"I love the tie between public art and our city's history," said Callaghan. "The art encourages people to visit downtown, walk around, and see what our business community has to offer. This project is a win-win for all. Thanks to Rochester Main Street for making it happen."

The vinyl murals are on display now in Shaw Park, between the Fire Department and City Hall, located at 31 Wakefield Street. The public is encouraged to see them in person.

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