This summer I submitted a proposal to Chicago’s 49th ward (Rogers Park neighborhood) for a mural competition there, which I did not win.
My theme was a tribute to the now demolished Granada Theater. Formerly at 6427 N. Sheridan, the Granada Theater was one of the three largest movie palaces in Chicago, comparable to and possibly more opulent than the Uptown and the Chicago Theaters. The Granada was torn down in 1990. I grew up in Rogers Park and occasionally saw a movie or concert there.
The Granada’s façade and exterior featured extremely ornate decorations. The designs for the decorations were taken from actual palaces, churches, and villas throughout Italy and Spain.
My mural would have feature painted versions of the architectural details of the façade and interior of the theater. Two insets would have been painted within these architectural elements. One was planned to show a complete view of the exterior of the theater building on Sheridan Road, and the other a view of the interior of the theater. To the sides were painted theater curtains. A center written inset would have featured the history of the theater.
My design for the Granada Theater Mural
I think my present design still needs some work, but I hope to eventually create this important reminder and tribute near the site of the old theater itself. Perhaps as a tile mural for more permanence.
It was an interesting and not controversy free process how this project proceeded. The Chicago Reader Newspaper headlined an article (on Sept. 6th, 2010) about it here. And for more information about the Granada take a look here. You can also look at the The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) photos from the library of congress here. Search for Granada Theater.