The Vecino Group, the development company currently redeveloping the McDaniel Building into student housing called The U, regrets to announce that the mural painted on the east side of the building will be removed.
The mural, painted by artist Ellen Schaeffer and funded by the Junior League of Springfield and others, has been a prime example of public art for more than a decade. Every preservation effort was considered, but ultimately the damage could not be reversed. The bricks were not properly tuck pointed or conditioned before the mural was painted. This, coupled with weather exposure, has caused extensive decay. All parties involved in the original mural efforts have been included in the decision process and are in agreement that the Ellen Schaeffer mural cannot be repaired. “The mural was a great piece of art and it will be missed,” said Vecino Group President Rick Manzardo. ” We appreciate public art and thank Ellen, and the original funders of this mural, for adding to the vibrancy of downtown Springfield.”
The Vecino Group plans to commemorate the mural with a quality photograph of the original on a display plaque on the same wall the mural existed. The plaque will recognize the artist Ellen Schaeffer, Springfield Program for Public Art as well as those who helped fund this mural including the Junior League of Springfield, The Ozarks Regional Partnership for School to Work and Conco Companies. Additionally, Manzardo says the Vecino Group is open to talking with community groups about the possibility of painting a new mural once the bricks have been properly conditioned and renovations to the building are complete.