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bohemian mural

13th Street Bohemian Mural

13th and William on the back of the Konig Dune Law Firm

Lead Artist Rebecca Van Ornam, Assisted by Richard Harrison, Jeremiah Neal and Gerardo Vazaquez

scroll down for map of symbols

The mural is a compilation of people, places, memories, and dreams that we have gathered from the neighborhood. We met with interested community members at four different meetings held at the Bohemian Café, the Donut Stop, and Rebel Interactive. During these meetings, attendees were asked to brainstorm elements of the neighborhood they are proud of and identify areas where they would like to see change. From these meetings we came up with a design that includes many of the stories and dreams that we had the pleasure of listening to. At the bottom of the mural are three houses from the neighborhood, we wanted to illustrate the unique and charming architecture of the homes surrounding the mural. One of the homes is Phil Wherley’s family home, where his mother lived since the age of three. On the left side of the bottom we have included some plants and gardening supplies to reference the community garden that your neighborhood association is starting. The next tier up is made up of archways that look back to visions of 13th street in the past.

These scenes include from left to right: Hempel Sheet Metal Works, the old hardware store and the Catholic Sokol, then Foreman’s Barber Shop, then a more recent view of the Koenig Dunne Law Office and the Donut Stop, then the Prague Hotel in the 70’s, then the original Bohemian Café, and then a view of the Golden Goose with a streetcar out on the street. Above the street scenes we have included architectural design elements from the Prague Hotel and other buildings along 13th street. The film strip above the arches includes stories from the neighborhood’s past including Olympic athletes, the candy store, Bohemian parades, and street dances. Above the film strip there is a green space with people dancing and celebrating together, this is a vision of the future. We would like this mural to inspire more community gatherings at which neighbors can foster relationships and share ways to improve their neighborhood. Wrapping up the left side of the mural is a set of flowers, some are in the Bohemian decorative style, but the iris at the top is in memory of Susan Koenig’s late husband who loved to tend to his rooftop garden located right above the mural. On the right side is a larger than life figure of a woman, she dances into the scene and symbolizes the vibrant past and the evolving future of 13th street. She is modeled after Erica at the Wallflower wearing one of her vintage dresses, we felt that Erica was a good representation of new business life as well as someone who appreciates the culture of our past. The mural takes some style cues from the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, a leader of the Art Nouveau movement. Overall, the mural is an ode to the rich past of 13th Street, it celebrates the dances and festivities of the residents as well as the hard working business owners that have operated along the street for decades. We hope that the mural will be a reminder to the neighborhood of the wealth that the history and future of the area holds.

bohemian mural
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Funded by Susan Koenig