The “Shades of the Black Forest” mural, created by Lothar Sanchez-Speer nearly 20 years ago with help from local high school students, has seen some changes made to it recently as the Lincoln Square Athletic Club (LSAC) prepares the building for its arrival. As dust flies and the paint chips away, what lies in the future for the mural that’s looked down on the intersection of Leland and Lincoln Avenues for decades?
Thankfully, the mural remains safe—mostly.
As renovation of the building continues, the top few feet of the mural have been removed as well as a square in the upper right corner towards the front of the building, revealing old “ghost signs” beneath.
Tasha James, Membership Advisor for the LSAC, told Center Square Journal that the mural will not be removed from the wall, and that they’ve contacted Sanchez-Speer who will “come in and fill in what gets changed.”
As renovations continued, crews discovered that the brick beneath the mural was in bad shape. Rather than remove it outright and then replace it, LSAC chose to reinforce the wall in order to save the artwork.
While the mural will indeed survive, expect the current reduced appearance to be in place for a while. With more construction to come, the piece’s restoration could come “dead last,” according to James.