Mural design for Chestnut Hill’s Bredenbeck’s unveiled

Chestnut Hill got a sneak peek at the mural design planned for the outside of the building of Bredenbeck’s Bakery at 8126 Germantown Ave.

Jane Golden, executive director of the Mural Arts Program, presented the design by Ann Northrup to the Chestnut Hill Community Association board in an effort to win its support.

The design shows the confluence of Cresheim Creek and the Wissahickon on an autumn day. At the base, cultivated plants blend with winterberry, hydrangea, and other plants then blend as you go higher with the vegetation and the river environment, according to a handout provided by the Mural Arts Program.


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Fundraising campaign underway

Golden said it was important that the community supports this project because mural organizers need to raise $25,000 to pay for it. She said this mural could open the door to a Northwest Philadelphia mural tour that could bring customers to area businesses. “We would come and work with restaurants owners up here and I always think that’s good for commerce,” she said. Last year, Golden said, 20,000 took the mural tours citywide.


Reaction from CHCA

Several board members expressed support for the mural and said they looked forward to the mural happening, but board member Elizabeth Bales said she was concerned that this mural was not in keeping with Chestnut Hill’s historic nature.””I’m concerned that it (a mural in Chestnut Hill) is unprecedented and not keeping with the aesthetics in the tradition of the (Germatown) Avenue with the way we’ve grown accustomed to it.”

She asked whether the mural could be temporary suggesting it should be painted on panels so it could be removed at a later date. Golden said it could be done with six by eight-foot panels, but it would raise the cost of the project.”

Board member Jean Wedgwood was not thrilled with the design. “Is this your final submission? Could there be something more architectural? I’ve lived in Chicago for a while, and the murals are very architectural and they are very lovely,” she said. “Certainly the artist would be open to some feedback,” Golden responded. But she also said the design came out of consensus by an earlier committee made up of Chestnut Hill residents that included Bredenbeck’s owner Karen Boyd.”She is the owner so she has the final say,” Golden said.

Wedgwood then asked if there was opposition to the design would Bredenbeck’s still have the authority to move forward. “She could, but I would feel very uneasy about that…We (Mural Arts) would not move forward with it,” Golden said.


History of the project

One member of the CHCA board asked when the planning for the Bredenbeck’s mural project began. Golden said the idea had been kicking around for a couple of years, but only in the past year did a committee began to work on it. Golden first mentioned the mural to the CHCA when she was the keynote speaker for the association’s annual dinner meeting on April 20, 2011.

If fundraising is successful the mural could be painted over the summer and be completed by this fall, according to Golden.

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