This afternoon, kids and community members put the final dabs of paint on a massive 3D mural honouring the city’s 9/11 heroes on the Lower East Side. I had hoped to make the ribbon cutting ceremony, but unfortunately I couldn’t escape work in time. But not to worry because the mural was still waiting for me when I finally got there.
So after work, I headed to Henry M. Jackson Park, which is at the intersection of Jackson Street, Madison Street and Henry Street, to see the ‘Celebrating the Heroes of Our City’ mural. And I was immediately hit by its huuuge size – it’s 210-foot long, making it one of the largest in the city.
And it’s lovely. It merges a few scenes together – cartoonish people playing on a sports field, a sunset over a glistening One World Trade Center, firemen and police officers grinning side by side, Lady Libby looking over the entire scene. And peeking out from the darkness were two colourful Twin Towers.
The whole design is a reaction to New York in the aftermath of 9/11, reflecting the community’s love of the city and their hopes for its future.
The mural was created in 2002, but in the ensuing decade it suffered some wear and tear, and after Hurricane Sandy it was all but gone. So with the help of CITYarts and The Walt Disney Company, a group of kids gathered there this summer to restore it to its former glory.
First of all, firefighters from Engine 15 power-washed the wall before the painting began – as a nod to the crew, the engine on the wall is marked with a ’15’ and one of the firefighters, Arnold Galvez, is painted alongside it.
As well as updating the design, the group brought the whole experience into the modern age by making it 3D. So take some 3D glasses if you have them (obv you do).