Barracks Row’s Ghost Mural Gets (Some) New Paint

Eye-catching semi-restoration of c. 1900 Coca Cola Adv on Barracks Row

Hamilton Glass (above) and assistant restore early 1900s advertisement for Coca-Cola on Barracks Row

Barracks Row’s Ghost Mural Gets (Some) New Paint

by Larry Janezich

Coca-Cola Bottling is funding the partial restoration of the company’s faded advertisement on the side of Orchid – formerly Senart’s Oyster Bar on Barrack Row.  Orchid is owned by Bill Sport of the Hill Restaurant Group and the building is owned by Mary Quillian of Mr. Henry’s.

According to sources, Coca-Cola contacted the owners and after gaining permission, obtained the permit to temporarily close the alley and hired muralist Hamilton Glass to restore part of the advertisement an add banner signage promoting Barracks Row.

A conceptual difficulty is dealing with the part of the ghosted signage which was half covered with cement long ago in order to stabilize the building.  Glass’ goal is to unite the old faded letters on part of the mural with the bright restoration of the cement-covered original in one old/new mural.  A Capitol Hill Restoration Society representative told CHC that if it’s just paint, there are no Historic District rules on paint.

One critic of the restoration and advertisement for Barrack Row is Alex Goldstein owner of The Fridge, the Barracks Row art gallery whose patrons pass by the signs on their way to his place at 516 8th Street, rear alley.  “Paint on walls is my life,” he said, “I’m surprised those behind this didn’t talk to the neighbors about it.  I know the artist and respect him, but this looks unfinished.”

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 29, the Fall Festival will be held on Barracks Row from 11:00am until 5:00pm.  For the schedule of events, see here:

For more of Hamilton Glass’ work, see here:

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