Monday, November 23, 2009

Restoration Begins on Beardon “T” Mural

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has begun the process of removing the tile mural that hung on the wall of the Gateway “T” station. The mural by the late Pittsburgh artist, Romare Beardon was commissioned for the station when it opened in 1984. It has been valued at $15 million dollars. Now that the station has been closed crews are removing the 13-foot by 60-foot mural piece by piece. The work will be sent to a restoration company in Ohio to be cleaned and remounted on 13-foot by 2-foot panels. It will be hung in the new station before it opens. Over the years the mural has received some water damage. Jerry Marinzel is the project coordinator for PAT. He says each tile has been numbered and photographed and the workers are in the process of scoring between each tile with a diamond tipped saw. They will then cut an inch behind the tiles and leave the cement intact to make sure no tiles are damaged. The removal process is expected to take two months and the restoration work will take about year. In all, the project is expected to cost $1-million. Marinzel says some of the money came from the portion of the station’s budget set aside for artwork and the rest has been covered by private donations. The mural titled "Pittsburgh Recollections" tells the story of Pittsburgh. Marinzel says educational materials will be created to let “T” users gain a better appreciation for the work. One of the 780 tiles was installed upside down. Marinzel says the artist supervised the instillation of the mural and the Port Authority assumes he intended the tile to be mounted upside down so when it is reinstalled it will remain upside down. More pictures of the work can be seen here.

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