Mural Removed to Save Mississippi Insurance Building

June 12, 2012

A mural that has been a downtown West Point, Miss., attraction for nearly 15 years is being removed to save a wall that is part of Lyon Insurance building.

The Daily Times Leader reports that work began this week to remove the mural so workers can stop water leakage into the building.

Lee Stafford, first chairman of the Prairie Arts Association, says the mural was part of a beautification project in 1998 to clean a lot next to Lyon Insurance for what is now the Bryan Reading Park.

The building that was at the site was torn down except for the west wall on which the mural was painted and which became part of Gil Lyon’s insurance building.

Stafford says there’s no money to restore the mural. He says another mural could be painted if funds become available.

“Frankly, I never dreamed it would last as long as it has,” Stafford said. “Gil was nice enough to ask us what we wanted to do with the mural, but there’s not much we can do. He’s going to have to fix his building.”

Stafford said at the time, funding to paint the mural cost about $5,000 but today the cost would probably run more than $25,000.

Lyon said restoration has been put off for four to five years during which time window seals on the wall began to crack and termites started to become an issue. The interior west wall was repaired less than a year ago but is again beginning to suffer water damage due to the decaying exterior wall.

“The reason we haven’t done anything before now is because we were so honored to have the mural on our building,” Lyon said. “We love the mural. This was a last ditch effort. We’ve let the building get in worse shape than we should have.”

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