Old City Developer Leigh Burch Plans to Restore Old City Mural He Covered Up Last Year

In The Daily Dumpster Blog by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

Old City real-estate developer Leigh Burch appears to have learned an expensive lesson about preservation—he says in a press release that he’s paying for a complete restoration of the popular Old City music mural that he had painted over last spring.

In April, workers hired by Burch covered a popular mural at 118 E. Jackson with black paint. The mural, created in 1999 and 2000 by the Knoxville artist Walt Fieldsa and students from Laurel High School, depicted notable East Tennessee musicians—R.B. Morris, Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, the Everly Brothers, Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong,” and others.

The response from fans, local arts groups, and government officials was overwhelmingly negative.

Now Burch says he’s hired Fieldsa to restore the mural.

“It’s always my goal to be a good neighbor and community-oriented business, so I am happy we can get this done,” Burch says in the press release announcing the restoration.

The restoration—which will include removing the black paint covering the mural and applying new weather-resistant paint over the old image—could start in April and is expected to be finished this summer.

Featured Photo: Public reaction to developer Leigh Burch’s decision to cover the Old City music mural in black paint last year was immediate and angry. Photo by Clay Duda.

Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at matthew@knoxmercury.com.

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