CHI project honored by Dubuque Main Street

Saturday, October 19, 2013
Kevin Ehrlich, Dubuque Main Street board president, Megan Starr, with WNDC, and Rich Rossignol, project artist, accept the award for "Best Public Improvement Project" at the 28th Anniversary Awards Banquet. Community Housing Initiatives of Spencer were also involved in the project. (Photo submitted)

Community Housing Initiatives Inc., with offices in Spencer, and the Washington Neighborhood Development Corporation were recently awarded "Best Public Improvement Project" for its 18th Street intersection mural painting project which was completed during NeighborWorks Week, June 1-8. The project was one of 14 outstanding projects that Dubuque Main Street honored during its 28th Anniversary Awards Banquet on Oct. 17 in the Hotel Julien Dubuque. The banquet celebrates not-for-profit organizations dedicated to the development of a vibrant downtown.

The intersection mural was completed in the roundabout at 18th and Washington during NeighborWorks Week, a week-long national celebration where thousands of volunteers come together to help make their neighborhoods healthy, sustainable places to work, play and call home. Other activities CHI participated in were planting flowers, a community garden groundbreaking, neighborhood plant exchange and various neighborhood surveys.

Local artist Rich Rossignol came up with the mural idea, and then more than 60 volunteers comprised of residents, businesses and city officials outlined the design. They then painted it with the help of students from a nearby elementary school. The circular mural incorporates unique Dubuque landmarks such as the Shot Tower, Town Clock, 4th Street Elevator and more. The intersection mural will be repainted on an annual basis.

"I came up with the design by thinking about community identity as it is defined by place," Rossignol said. "I realized that people in a community feel connection with local landmarks and architecture. I hope that Washington Neighborhood residents enjoy the positive attention the mural will bring in their direction and bestows a greater sense of pride in their community."

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