YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For 36 years, the side and back of the RICA building on South Champion Street in downtown Youngstown have been painted with a mural, outlined with window coverings and columns reminiscent of the Renaissance. But, former owner Richard Mills sold the building to Tim Huber, who, along with local muralist Pat McGlone, decided it was time for a change.
Wednesday afternoon, McGlone detailed the artwork that is being planned.
“I would say about a four-month design process back and forth,” he said. “We’ve already put down 94 gallons of product on this building.”
McGlone has spent the past two weeks painting the building white. What he covered up was a mural painted by the Lepo brothers of Lima, Ohio in 1986. It included a big “M” on the back for previous owner Richard Mills.
“But since then, it had just become dated. It was really, really worn out. It was a fantastic piece but it was time for it to kind of be revitalized. I just feel lucky to be the one that got picked to be able to do it,” McGlone said.
The side will look similar to the Lepo brothers’ mural, though the columns and windows will have a softer, more modern look. Some of the chalk lines are already in place.
“So we’re going to keep a very similar color palette. We’re going to be incorporating a lot of vertical stripes and geometric patterns into this side. Then we’re going to keep the exact same window embellishments,” McGlone said.
The most dramatic change will be in the back where a small section of the Youngstown Vindicator will frame a 50-foot bust of the Greek god Apollo.
“I chose Apollo because he was the protector of the young and I thought it incorporated Youngstown really well. So this guy’s going to be watching over Youngtown for years and years to come,” McGlone said.
McGlone is also a Youngstown firefighter and next week will become a first-time dad.
He expects to be done in October. The RICA building mural will be his 68th.
“As far as square footage, there’ve been some similar, but none of them will even come close to the complexity this one will have,” McGlone said.
Huber, a partner in downtown Youngstown’s Prima Cucina restaurant, said he eventually plans to renovate the building into two high-end apartments, space for businesses and on the first floor will partner with the Soap Gallery to do what he called “Prima events.”