A little prep work is requested at West 15th mural site in Anniston
by Laura Camper
Mar 15, 2012 | 3057 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Saturday, volunteers will converge on the site of a proposed mural celebrating West 15th Street’s heyday as the center of commerce for black Anniston.

The 90-foot mural is being applied to the side of a building and the land on which the building is located needs to be tidied up.

One group heading to the site on at West 15th and Glen Addie Avenue will be Anniston Junior ROTC members. The students participate in a volunteer event one Saturday each month, said 1st Sgt. James Smyre, one of the students’ instructors.

Smyre, who is on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity, said he is always looking for ways to involve the students in improving their community.

“We’re always doing community service projects with Habitat for Humanity and whoever needs help,” he said.

This project appealed to him because it allowed the students to work in their own neighborhood, Smyre said.

“Most of the students are from the west Anniston area and so it gives them a chance to go back and do something to beautify their own communities,” he said.

The students will join other volunteers beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday to clean up the lot — moving old shrubbery and debris to the right of way to enable Anniston city trucks to pick it up.

The mural, which is being paid for with money from Anniston and Calhoun County, will be a stop on the Anniston Civil Rights and Heritage Trail when it is finished, Betsy Bean, executive director of Spirit of Anniston, said by email. The Spirit has been developing the trail to promote downtown Anniston. The trail also includes two other murals unveiled last May. Those murals depict the buses that carried Freedom Riders as they tested the federal law desegregating travel facilities. They were attacked in Anniston on Mother’s Day 1961.

Bean said eventually several murals will be created and included on the trail.

Local artist John Davis will design the mural and artist Joseph Giri will bring the design to life on the side of the building owned by Sidney Tyus, who also owns Homeroom Furniture on Noble Street.

Bean is inviting community residents to join in the work day.

Star staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545.

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