Group halfway to $1 million goal to save Pershing mural from being demolished

A group of people is trying to save a mural that’s almost 70 years old in downtown Lincoln.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A group of people is trying to save a mural that’s almost 70 years old in downtown Lincoln. They have until May 20, and just under $500,000 to go in order to spare this art work.

The Pershing Auditorium, also known as Pershing Center, is located on Centennial Mall. It’s been closed since 2014, and is set for demolition and redevelopment this fall. However, many have fond memories in that auditorium and they’re desperately trying to save the 38-foot by 140-foot mural that makes it so recognizable.

A fundraising campaign called “Save the Pershing Mural” was started on March 1, 2022 of this year. It has two parts. The first $1 million raised is for the piece to be removed safely from the building before demolition. That money has to be raised by May 20, and organizers are over halfway there raising $600,000 so far.

Then an additional $2 million is needed to clean and restore the mural, which can be raised with the help of grants.

Those involved say it’s important to preserve art pieces since they are a connection to the past.

“I know it seems like a huge project and why are we doing this?” said campaign organizer Liz Shea-McCoy. “Well, we have to start focusing on preservation and what we have historically in our city.”

The mural features rivers, trails, various cities and characters, plus sporting events. Those involved said they’re confident they will raise the money.

The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation is collecting the funds for those wishing to help.

If the mural is saved it’s going to be moved to the Lancaster Event Center off 84th Street.

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