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Painted with help from the Westchester Square Business Improvement District on the Sure-Fire Fuel Corporation

Mural celebrates the Square’s historical heritage

(L-r) Harry Santiago, of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District; Stephen Hiller, owner of Sure-Fire Oil Fuel Corp.; Denise Hiller, the owner’s wife; Joe Regina, WSBID BID Development; and Tom Hiller, the owner’s son gesture towards the door on the trolley outside of Sure-Fire at 2610 E. Tremont Avenue.
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Westchester Square is home to a new mural that celebrates the community’s heritage.

The Westchester Square Business Improvement District celebrated the completion of an 18 by 60 -foot mural by artist Damien Mitchell on the side of Sure-Fire Fuel Corporation at 2610 East Tremont Avenue.

The mural depicts an earlier time in Westchester Square, with a three-dimensional trolley like the ones that used travel there through the World War II era, and a row of historical houses on Silver Street.

Lisa Sorin, WSBID executive director, said that the mural, depicting the Square’s commercial hub of years gone by, is part of a larger marketing and branding effort to celebrate Westchester Square and attract new businesses by showcasing the Square as it used to be.

“If you are driving towards Westchester Square, the mural is going to be the first thing that you are going to run into other than the (WSBID) banners,” said Sorin.

She believes that the area’s historical heritage is another way to sell Westchester Square to small businesses looking for a home.

“Westchester Square has always been a central business hub, and we are trying to capture that history,” said Uriah Johnson, WSBID deputy director, who added the painting took about six workdays for the artist.

Mitchell, who said that he has received nothing but positive feedback from the community, painted another mural nearby depicting subway trains that’s located near St. Peter’s Church.

“A lot of the long-term residents were happy to sit and chat about what we were doing and seemed excited about the murals,” said Mitchell.

The artist said he used about five cans of primer and 50 cans of spray paint to cover the wall.

The mural is located in an active parking lot for fuel oil delivery trucks.

Stephen Hiller, Sure-Fire owner, said that he agreed to a mural because his wall has had some graffiti issues, and that the idea of what to put on the building went through several iterations.

At first, in keeping with the colonial history of the area, the BID and Hiller considered the idea of a scene from the Revolutionary War.

After further consultation, the streetcar and the historical homes seemed more appropriate for his location, said Hiller.

Joe Regina, WSBID Development, explained that the area was the scene of The Battle of Westchester Creek between General George Washington and British troops that allowed Washington’s retreat from New York at the onset of the war so that the American Revolutionary cause could continue.

“As far as the Wetschester Square BID is concerned, in terms of promoting the area and bringing the historical significance to the forefront, we are trying to blend all that to make it attractive to not only the immediate community but to visitors as well,” said Regina.

At the WSBID’s upcoming Fair @ The Square event on Saturday, June 18 from 10 am to 6 pm, the BID will be offering visitors a “Passport to the Past” that will contain information about the Square’s history, said Sorin.

For more information about the artist, visit damienmitchell.com or @damien__mitchell on Instagram.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Posted 12:00 am, June 12, 2017
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