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South Philadelphia Losing Its Mural View Of ”Ol’ Blue Eyes”

(The Frank Sinatra mural at Broad and Wharton Streets, in file photo)

(The Frank Sinatra mural at Broad and Wharton Streets, in file photo)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Economic development has Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program losing two of its well-known artworks.

Buildings now under construction are blocking the public’s view of murals in two separate neighborhoods of the city.

One is the Frank Sinatra mural in South Philadelphia, painted in 1999 for the one-year anniversary of the death of Ol’ Blue Eyes.  The adjacent lot at Broad and Wharton Streets has a three-story building going up.

Diane Keller was the artist.

“Some part of me would have liked to have restored it again, like some of the other murals are being restored,” she said this morning, “but that one was really relevant in its time and it was great while it lasted.”

The other mural being covered is in the Mantua section of the city, at 37th and Mt. Vernon, where a supermarket will block the “Reaching for your Star” mural that depicts a child reaching for a star in the night sky.

Eighty to 100 new murals are created in the city every year and about six are lost, according to Jennifer McCreary, a spokeswoman for the Mural Arts Program.

“We do new projects every year, and we do look at communities where murals go away to try to make sure there are still public artworks present in that neighborhood,” she said.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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