(Posted Sept. 16, 2020)
Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, Urania Lodge 311, Plain City’s chapter of the Free and Accepted Masons, commissioned the painting of a large American flag on the side of their building in the center of town.
“It was painted in a show of freedom, unity and strength within the Plain City community,” said Rich Myers, who serves as the lodge’s worshipful master.
Over the course of the last 19 years, the mural, located at 102 E. Main St. and highly visible to traffic and pedestrians passing through town, became weathered and worn. Lodge members talked about revitalizing or replacing it. After nearly two years of discussion, they decided to pursue the project.
“This year just felt like it would be the appropriate time to do it with everything that’s going on in the world,” Myers said.
Lodge members turned to the public to decide whether to stick with the original design or go with something new.
“The feedback in the community was strongly that they really enjoyed the original,” Myers said, “and as much as it is going on our building, it’s for the community as a whole.”
The lodge solicited quotes and ultimately went with UC Signs, the company out of Unionville Center that painted the original mural. The contract was signed the week of Aug. 11.
“They really did a fantastic job of prioritizing the project so that we could rededicate the mural on Sept. 11,” Myers said.
Charles E. Stenner Jr., a retired three-star lieutenant general with the Air Force, a native of Plain City, and a Jonathan Alder High School graduate, spoke at the ceremony. Lodge members also took the opportunity to thank those who donated to the project or supported it in any way.
“The support we received verbally, on social media, and in donations was greater than we could have ever expected,” Myers said.
The project, which included repair of the stucco wall, cost $10,700. Donations from 18 individuals and nine businesses and organizations covered more than half the cost. The Uptown Plain City Organization assisted with fundraising.
“The mural served as a symbol of pride in Plain City for the past two decades. Our goal is that it will continue to serve as a symbol of pride for years to come,” Myers said.