Excerpt from Frederick News-Post:
A mural of the Maryland state dinosaur will soon have a place in downtown Frederick.
The city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday gave Frederick artist Goodloe Byron the go-ahead to begin painting a colorful, cartoonish Astrodon johnstoni dinosaur on the west side of the city’s Church Street parking garage as part of an overall alleyway improvement effort.
The mural is slated to be 30 feet high and roughly 150 feet long. It will begin directly at the north side of the brick stair tower on the East Church Street facade of the parking garage. It will continue along the pedestrian alleyway behind several buildings that face North Market Street.
The overall project includes other alleyway improvements and is part of the nonprofit Downtown Frederick Partnership’s strategic plan. Kara Norman, the executive director of the partnership, said it is a catalyst to the nonprofit’s effort to connect various sections of downtown.
The Historic Preservation Commission had to approve the project because the garage is within the Frederick Town Historic District. According to a staff report, the garage is a non-contributing resource of the district, though. The report recommended that the commissioners approve the request to paint the mural, which they did unanimously Thursday.
The staff report also included letters of support from Brewer’s Alley President Phil Bowers, city parking superintendent Steven Johnson and Catherine Moreland, the chairwoman of the Frederick Public Art Commission.
Brewer’s Alley is close to the parking garage, where the mural is proposed, and has views of the mural from both a new first-floor dining area and a rooftop terrace. Bowers said in his letter that the mural “creates an opportunity to make the view of the parking garage an unexpected surprise that we think our customers will enjoy.” He added that he has donated to the project to show his support.
Johnson’s letter had similar supportive comments.
“I think the project presents a great opportunity to improve the appearance of the west side of the parking garage as well as to create an attraction for local and visitors alike,” the letter said.
The public art commission had to approve the painting of the mural. Moreland’s letter said commissioners signed off on it and called Byron a “talented artist” with a “fresh approach to painting.”
Byron said Thursday he will begin priming, the first step of the painting process, when the weather warms up. He then will use exterior acrylic paint and spray paint to finish it off. He said he expects the job will take about 14 days.
Byron has done other art projects around the county, including murals at Surf House Island Cantina in Urbana and at Lazy Fish on East Patrick Street.
The Maryland Manual says the state adopted an official dinosaur in 1998. The Astrodon johnstoni lived in Maryland about 95 million to 130 million years ago, the Maryland Manual says. They could be 50 to 60 feet long and more than 30 feet tall, weighing up to 20 tons.