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Corps Says Mural Is Not Historical
are extremely disappointed by this preliminary recommendation, which,
for a variety of reasons, appears to be results-oriented. Most
egregiously, to reach this result, the Army Corps of Engineers had to
find that the Bicentennial was not a significant event. That is
obviously a ridiculous statement. However, there are a few steps
left in this process, so we are still asking for your support.
I’ve worked on many disputes involving murals, and I’ve never seen a
community this organized and unanimous in its support for a piece of
public art. The Bicentennial Freedom Mural is both a patriotic
historical piece and a major landmark. There is a comment period
ending on July 10, during which we would urge you to email the Corps at
to show your support for the
the lead in the Mural could be encapsulated and the Mural
restored. This would not be difficult. But if that cannot
happen, we would prefer that as much of the Mural be retained as
possible and that the rest be repainted. A final option would be
to repaint the entire Mural as an exact replica, with the oversight of
the original designers, who are still alive. In fact, in an
effort to cut right to the chase, I have made the offer of repainting
to the U.S. Attorney on this case. I await a response. But
the worst scenario would be for the Mural to be removed and replaced
with some unknown contemporary work. The Bicentennial Freedom
Mural is the largest remaining monument to the Bicentennial in
California. It is one of the only such monuments in Southern
California. It is also an example of a style of community art
from a simpler time that will not return. Most importantly, it
holds great significance for thousands of people who grew up with it or
drove by it for decades.
ask that you continue to show your support for the Bicentennial Freedom
Mural and not give up the fight just yet. It has been a great
honor to be involved with this community on this issue.
Thank you for your
Press Enterprise Article Here
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You Can Contact The Army Corps Directly!
Corps has provided us the email address below, please use it to reflect
the personal and/or historical importance the Bicentennial Mural holds
for you. Please be respectful and request Col. Gibbs to work towards
the restoration of this irreplaceable historic resource.
L.A. Corps, Col. Kirk Gibbs at
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of the Mural
June 17 1976 the Prado Dam Bicentennial Mural was completed. On
May 11th 2016, just weeks from it's 40th anniversary, the students who
designed and painted it are coming back! They will be meeting at
the mural site with elected officials from Chino, Chino Hills,
Eastvale, Norco, and Corona - along with other mural supporters.
the gathering at the mural, the consultants will meet for a workshop
with the Army Corps of Engineers at their near by offices, to discuss
the Bicentennial Mural's Eligibility for the National Register of
We all look forward
to sharing goals that allow for the Bicentennial mural to be preserved
for present and future generations.
Historical Information About The Mural ~
Dam Mural, Corona CA
you weren't there or your memory is a little fuzzy, the U.S.
Bicentennial was the most massive volunteer movement in peacetime
history. Ten years in the making, there were 60,000 events
planned across the Country. KTLA-5 reporter Dave Mecham, said it
best, "1976 was like the 4th of July on steroids and celebrated
throughout the entire year".
by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration in the summer of
1976, a group of Corona High School Students were inspired to do their
own thing. They designed and painted the Prado Dam Spillway with
a Bicentennial theme. As soon as the paint dried, the
that's six times the size of Mt. Rushmore, was embraced by the
Indian Tribes and various groups were all invited to tell their stories
for the Bicentennial. From this participation came a greater
learning experience and Americans added to their knowledge of history.
The creation of the Bicentennial Mural was truly a community effort,
with the Spirit of
dedication, patriotism and friendship. From the moms who fed the
30 students who participated, to all the volunteers who selflessly
worked to make the mural a reality. As the mural is in clear view
of some 300,000 vehicles that pass by it daily, it has literally
Sadly over the years, the mural has lacked a maintenance program.
Various groups like the Boy Scouts have had their offers of repairs
turned down. In May of 2014 there was a Public Notice on the L.A.
Army Corps Website, stating they would be wiping out the Prado Dam
Mural without determining if Historic properties are present or
engaging the public. On August 6th 2014, the Corps Public Affairs
specialist stated there are no plans to repaint the spillway.
October 15th 2014 the Corps announced they would seek public input on a
replacement Mural. It was now clear that the Corps did not
recognize the historical significance of the mural.
of the outpouring from a Petition drive by the Public and their elected
officials calling for the mural to be preserved, the L.A. Army Corps Of
Engineers held a Public meeting at the Corona Preforming Arts Theater
on April 9th 2015. Over 300 mural supporters attended and
unanimously supported the History and significance of the Mural.
The supporters were told by the Committee that there passion was heard
loud and clear.
Supporters at Corona Performing Arts Center
was an amazing night! 50 supporters got up to speak, even city
members voiced their support for the mural. One of the supporters
was present during the 1938 flood of the former City of Prado.
Then a young man stood up and said he would be 83 for the Countries
Tricentennial and he wanted the Bicentennial Mural preserved, the
applause was inspiring!
of the Prado Dam Spillway
the dismay of the public, on June 8th 2015, the Army Corps placed
equipment on top of the Prado Dam spillway, to destroy the Bicentennial
Go to Federal Court For an Injunction
hours before the Mural was to be destroyed, Attorney Eric Bjorgum,
Conservancy of LA and Mural artist Ron Kammeyer went to
Federal court and got a
injunction, halting the murals' destruction. On
August 25th 2015 Federal Judge
handed down the court’s decision that plaintiffs
have met the standard for
entry of a
preliminary injunction stopping further work on the
Bicentennial Freedom Mural
final resolution of the case.
Since the Judges
decision, the Army Corps has agreed to assess the
eligibility of the Mural for the National Record Of Historic Places, in
consultation with the California State Historic Preservation
Office. Both parties have now agreed to put on hold their Federal
case until this important, Section 106, review of the Mural is
completed. Over the next few months, consulting parties and the
Public will weigh in on the Historic significance of the Mural.
Bicentennial Mural heroes above, deserve our appreciation and
support! Starting from left, Isabel Rojas-Williams,
Executive Director of the Mural Conservancy of L.A. Next is Eric
Bjorgum Pasadena Attorney and advocate for Murals. Next is Ron
Kammeyer, Mural Artist and he is standing next to the original Mural
Painters and now members of the Bicentennial Freedom Mural
Conservancy. Left to right, Jackie Cherrington, Terry Smith,
former Corona High activities director David DiPiaolo and Jackie Travis.
The Mural Conservancy
of L.A. is a non-profit organization, that is
passionate about murals. Without their hard work and diligence,
the Bicentennial Mural would have been lost for all time.
your support for the fine work the Mural Conservancy of
L.A. is doing for the Bicentennial Mural, by becoming a MCLA
member. It's only $20! (Just Click on the link above)