Murals Brighten Up Abandoned Homes in the Historic Vistula District

. July 15, 2019.
Before and after shots of 1105 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.
Before and after shots of 1105 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.

Some like to paint the town red, but UToledo Art Department alumna Caroline Jardine likes to paint the town blue— covering the windows and doors of abandoned houses with mural panels featuring swirling, psychedelic designs. 

As part of an inner-city beautification project initiated by Reginald Temple, Director and Vice President of Community Development for First Federal Bank of the Midwest, Jardine joined nearly 60 volunteers from Mr. Temple’s company to brighten up two abandoned homes on North Huron Street in the historic Vistula district with 16 community-approved murals and some much-needed TLC. 

“The houses that the murals were installed on needed a lot of work,” said Jardine. “Volunteers cleared brush, mowed the lawns, picked up trash, pulled weeds and cleaned the porches.”

Before and after shots of 1109 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.

Before and after shots of 1109 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.

Side view of 1109 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.

Side view of 1109 N Huron property. Photo Credit: Caroline Jardine.

The project, organized through the collaborative efforts of Mr. Temple’s company, the Lucas County Land Bank and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, is intended to beautify the neighborhood, protect the houses from vandalism, and make homes more attractive to buyers who might one day remodel them.

This beautification initiative is one of many board-up projects completed by The Arts Commission’s Creative Placemaking Team. Past efforts include artist Natalie Lanese and Yusuf Lateef’s work on North Detroit Avenue in 2016, the installation of murals at the former residence of Art Tatum in 2017, among others.