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The Water Tower and Street Art in Church Hill

01/31/2018 8:00 AM by

Our neighbor Paul finished documenting the removal of the water tower. Thank you!

William Robinette also shot a short video of the tear down of the old water tank. Nice work William!

Church Hill Water Tank 1-24-18

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So what now?

Some of our readers like to discuss the appropriateness of certain types of art and/or embellishments in a historic neighborhood. For example, the dentil moulding at the top of the structure is not a favorite (“ironic” it was called). As for art, some of you want murals others just can’t stand it. If you haven’t been following the conversation from the last few posts about the water tower, street art or murals and their place in our neighborhood have come up a few times.

There are centuries old cities, like Barcelona, where both beautiful murals and disruptive graffiti decorate the streets. The murals are curated in the more prominent historic neighborhoods. The works of Banksy in L.A and the Crono projects in Lisbon showed that when some dilapidated neighborhoods embrace art, they can become centers of tourism. The National Trust for Historic Preservation authored a really interesting article about the powerful effect of murals as an artistic medium.

Nevertheless, street art has also in many ways been a controversial and undesired form of expression,

Street art has long had a strained relationship with the public, with illegal graffiti and tags considered symbols of urban decay. But that relationship has become more complicated as a new generation of street artists teams up with officials and businesses on legally sanctioned projects to revitalize public space.

To be clear, there is no commissioned artist or any potential bid to do any murals on this new water tower, so all of this debate is purely for fun. In fact,  what could be even more fun is to schedule some time with family and friends and take a ride around the city to view all that RVA has to offer! Here’s a printable map of Richmond’s murals.


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