With the support of SE Uplift’s Small Community Grants Program, PSAA is organizing a new mural at SE 30th & Belmont that honors the rich history of the Sunnyside Neighborhood & Belmont District.
The old Belmont History Mural, originally painted in 1996 by Jennifer Joyce, and restored in 2006, was badly faded and in disrepair.
With Jennifer's blessing, a new 100-foot long mural will be painted by the community. Each of the 10 panels will represent significant pieces of Sunnyside history, like its early rural and pioneer histories, its historic built environment, unique transportation history, iconic local landmarks, prominent businesses and places of worship, and its dynamic cultures of art and sustainability. Local artist Mado Hues (@mado.hues) has been commissioned as the lead artist, and will be working with members of the community to paint this new community mural through September and October 2017.
ARTIST CONCEPT SKETCHES
PSAA is also working to get the community involved in this mural project! We are speaking with Janus Youth to arrange for youth in their programs to come help the artist paint and learn about the history of community murals in Portland. There will be opportunities for the public to help prep and paint on August 26th, September 2rd, September 24th and October 1st from 11am-5pm. PSAA will have continued oppertunities to participate in the project, so please contact us if you would like to get involved!
This website will also serve as a hub for documenting Sunnyside’s history, and the process of creating this community mural. The Keep on the Sunnyside Mural Project will culminate with a mural celebration event, where the community can come together to celebrate its proud history as Portland’s first streetcar-era development and its bright future as a neighborhood dedicated to strong social ties, sustainability, and colorful streets.
Jerry Bosco and Ben "Benny" Milligan saved and restored both the iconic Pied Cow and Thaddeus Fisher Victorian houses, which sit prominently at the corner of SE 33rd & Belmont. Ben & Jerry founded the Architectural Heritage Center (AHC), a significant preservation education facility for the Portland region that plays an important role in celebrating and advocating for the architectural heritage of our region.
In the early 1970s, when Interstate 405 was under construction, Ben & Jerry were alarmed by the tragic demolition of countless historic buildings throughout Portland. They would enter these buildings on the eve of their destruction to salvage priceless pieces of architectural heritage. From the 1950s–1980s, they collected a trove of ornate building elements, many of which were used in the restoration of the Pied Cow & Thaddeus Fisher. Dedicated to saving Portland's built history, Ben & Jerry worked hard to restore the original siding, repairing and replacing the shingle work, windows, doors, and woodwork. Now stored at the AHC, the National Park Service documents that the Bosco-Milligan Foundation’s collections are the largest in the West and among the five largest in the United States.
Ben & Jerry sadly passed away in the late 1980's, both falling victim to the AIDS virus. Friends and companions, Benny and Jerry spent their lives preserving our history and we will be forever grateful for their work and passion. In an Oregonian interview with Benny Milligan just before his passing in 1988, Benny explained, "We're not collectors so much as caretakers. You start out as collectors and then later on you are caretakers. It is not a matter of saving for the future, you are saving that period of time."
These local preservation legends will be featured prominently in the Keep on the Sunnyside Mural. They will be depicted bicycling down Belmont, carrying the historic artifacts and treasures they saved from the wrecking ball in overflowing book bags and bike trailers. The Sunnyside neighborhood would certainly not be what it is today without the help from this dedicated duo.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
While a lot of this project was supported by the SE Uplift grant, all of PSAA's organizing and management services are being donated for this project. Please consider supporting the community work needed for this mural project and its on-going maintenance by donating to the GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/keeponthesunnyside) or contacting PSAA directly.