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    Mural Fever: Public Art in the D.C. Area   

Takoma Junction mural in Takoma Park, Md.

Imagine parking your car at a meter in front of the T.J. Food Market in Takoma Park. You jump out of your car and are confronted with a beautiful array of vibrant colors in a mural titled, "Takoma Junction."

The mural was painted in 1985 by Sandra Philpott, a former Takoma Park resident, a few years after the city's centennial birthday celebration, says Carol Bannerman, a spokeswoman for the Takoma Park Police Department.

Bannerman says the mural depicts Old Town Takoma Park around the turn of the century. The city was founded in 1883 as one of the earliest railroad suburbs of the District and was "touted as a place to get away from the malaria, swampy area of D.C. and out into the country," Bannerman said. 

The mural captures a Victorian-style house of the 1890s and a historic figure, Sgt. John Barry of the District's police department. Barry served as a railroad crossing guard in 1886 who protected pedestrians from crossing the tracks when a trolley approached, Bannerman says.

"The mural looks back at what the community was like and the character and events we had here in Takoma Park," she adds. 


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Copyright 2001 University of Maryland College of Journalism

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