Mural debut set for Saturday

One of the few remaining storefronts untouched by the South Side revival on Dunklin Street will host a 48-foot-wide and eight-foot-tall mural.

The Historic South Side Mural will be unveiled at 10 a.m. Saturday at 117 E. Dunklin St.

The Old Munichburg Association hired artist Jim Dyke to capture the decades of business and residential character in paint after Prairie Farms offered the windows as a location.

“A mural of this depth and historical accuracy couldn’t be exposed to the elements,” said South Side historian Walter Schroeder.

The association chose Dyke for his family ties to the South Side, as well as his artistic integrity.

Schroeder provided Dyke with photographs of buildings and people of the past. And use of spatial elements allowed Dyke to include side streets for a better reflection of the 30-square-block neighborhood, founded by German immigrants.

In the case of the Robert Langerhans House, which once stood where Hawthorn Bank’s new construction continues, Schroeder tracked down a descendant, who drew the well-liked cobbler’s home from memory.

Many of the residences featured in the mural also are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“That’s not a coincidence; they are the most significant,” Schroeder said.

To bring life to the wall of history, several key figures in the South Side’s decades can be found, including Milo Waltz, Art Busch, Jake Vogel and Schroeder.

Leading the parade is John the Baptist, who in the 1940s and 1950s would be found in his hand-me-down band jacket high strutting in front with baton in hand.

A list of donors will be posted on the double doors dividing the mural into two parts. A search and find guide also will help viewers find 44 names concealed within the mural.

This is the latest project funded through Oktoberfest proceeds and association memberships to restore the South Side as a destination.

Two red benches also are included in this finished project, similar to those just east of the awning covered storefront in the corner park with the Old Munichburg sign.

The reflection from the windows at the right angle gives the appearance that the viewer is part of the mural.

“We want people to come over,” Schroeder said. “If you just drive by, you won’t be able to ‘become part of the history.’”

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