Route 66 in the News

'Ghost Mural' May be Featured at New Museum

2010-04-02 09:44:18

PONTIAC, Ill. - A new museum is on schedule to open next month and a recently-discovered treasure may be featured.

The International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum, 217 N. Mill St., will open May 1 to coincide with the Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor festival, a yearly event that highlights Illinois attractions along the Mother Road.

Crews preparing to paint a back room found a "ghost mural" that may be featured, said Pontiac Tourism director Ellie Alexander.

The mural may have been painted in the early 1900s to advertise a clothing store.

"Right now, we are trying to research what store it was actually for ... and we are just going to tell the story as we know it," said Alexander.

The museum will feature original artwork and photographs of murals that the group has painted. Also featured will be photographs by Michael Campanelli, whose work also has been shown at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac.

A hands-on experience will be featured, but no details are firm, said Alexander. Daily management hasn't been determined.

The Walldogs came to Pontiac last June, painting downtown murals that depict the city's history and attractions.

Lori Fairfield, executive director of Pontiac Redeveloping Our United Downtown, said she has seen increased interest in the area over the past year.

"I think that Route 66 continues to be the biggest draw, but the murals are making people stay longer and tourists tend to go to the museums and then flow downtown for the murals," she said.

~Tony Sapochetti,


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