YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A downtown building is getting an update to its mural, and its artist is making sure there are some Valley-specific details included.
The mural at the RICA Building on South Champion Street in downtown Youngstown was painted by the Lepo Brothers of Lima, Ohio, in 1986. The “M” on the back stands for Richard Mills, the building’s former owner.
The building itself was constructed in 1900. It was called the RICA Building — because that’s what was on the building.
When Tim Huber recently bought the building, he wanted to update the mural. The end result depicts the Greek god Apollo now on the back.
The centerpiece of the newest mural on the RICA Building — and what people see when they cross the South Avenue Bridge and enter downtown Youngstown — depicts some area-specific details.
Next to Apollo is part of The Vindicator’s masthead — under which artist Pat McGlone has his name — along with the two painters who helped him. The text at the bottom are lyrics from Bruce Springsteen’s song “Youngstown.”
“This one was one where I kept pulling myself back on the lift and going like, ‘That looks cool, that looks cool,'” McGlone says. “That Vindicator sections just feels like home. It kind of grounds the whole piece. It adds a flare of our hometown without like screaming it, you know what I mean. It’s kind of subtle.”
The side of the building is an abstract series of cubes and stripes, done mostly in pastel colors.
“There were a couple components that we knew we wanted to be in the building. It was color, it was vertical stripes, geometric shapes, and we wanted to pull nostalgia back from the old building,” McGlone says.
McGlone spent a lot of time on a lift. All of Apollo was done with spray paint. It took four months to complete the whole thing. McGlone has done around 70 murals — but nothing of this magnitude.
“[In] every aspect — biggest, most complicated, most materials used, longest time — it is every superlative in the murals that I’ve done,” McGlone says.
It took 40 colors, 82 stripes, 200 cubes and 200 gallons of paint to complete the piece.
Current building owner Huber has already renovated the inside and turned the space into apartments. According to McGlone, Huber plans to change the name to the Apollo Event Center.
Photos courtesy of Skully Media.