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LETTER: The Other Side of the Mural

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I am disappointed in your coverage of the RVA Street Art Festival at the former GRTC streetcar barns (Night & Day, Sept. 11). The whole thing is a tissue of lies. People like festival co-organizer City Councilman Jon Baliles say they will “revitalize” the property by painting the walls. They make it sound as if the area is abandoned and that no one wants the old buildings when, in reality, everyone wants these buildings. GRTC has been hearing from interested investors all over the world. Why is this almost never mentioned by the local media?

When you’re sitting on top of one of the hottest properties in the city, the last thing you should want to do is invite people to spray paint on the walls. Photographs of the buildings taken during their heyday show stunning brickwork and spectacular slate roofs. A good deal of pride and dedication went into the construction of these buildings.

Most of the houses in the surrounding neighborhood were built to meet very sturdy standards right after World War I by recently laid-off Newport News Shipyard workers. They are in amazingly good shape despite their age and the hard times they experienced during the residential flight to the suburbs.

Mark Williams, Richmond

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