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City: 63rd Street muralists should clean graffiti

Last week we put up a post about the tagging of the mural at North 63rd under Aurora Avenue. Today, a Seattle Department of Transportation employee called to say they’re trying to find the people who originally painted the mural to clean up the graffiti, some of which you can see below.

When someone gets permission to put a mural on a bridge, they also agree to maintain it, according to the SDOT employee. City employees will now try to track down those who worked on the mural to see if they’ll take care of it. It’s only after no one steps up to do the work that the city’s graffiti rangers will paint it out, he said.

That isn’t quite the way it worked out for the zoo mural on the North 57th Street underpass. A few months ago the graffiti rangers accidentally covered that mural with gray paint that the city later paid several thousand dollars to remove.

“We definitely don’t want to paint out any murals anymore,” said the SDOT employee who asked not to be quoted by name.

Several members of the community got together to paint the mural in 1997 with the help of a matching grant and the support of the Phinney Ridge and Green Lake community councils. Lise Ward was the project manager. She’s leading an effort to restore the Zoo mural and we’ve left messages for her to let her know about the latest graffiti and the city’s attempts to track down people involved with the original project.

According to the city, Guy Allen, Dan Ayala, Amy Bengtson and Mary Gross are listed as the artists and Irene Wall with the Phinney Ridge Community Council was involved as well. 

Update: Lise is aware of the city’s interest in seeing the mural fixed. She’s not exactly sure when she can deal with this one, given she’s got her hands full with the 57th Street zoo mural. To get things moving, some volunteers would be welcome.

Lise can be contacted at [email protected], or (206) 362-8731.