Creativity helps Lincoln company remove Pershing mural

Pure Nebraska
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Removing the Pershing mural was a lengthy process. As we found out, it took some creative thinking to make sure all the mosaics are put back in order again.

We talked with Adam Helmerichs, who is the owner of Diamond Concrete Cutting in Lincoln. He says his company worked to get the mural removed and stored. “We tried many ways to take it off,” Helmerichs said. “We finally ended up using a hammer drill, with a very thin, wide chisel bit to get underneath the tiles. We also used a special tape that we put on the face of the tiles, and we were able to get underneath and chisel them off.”

The tiles are now stored in homemade crates in pieces. “We did the tiles in one foot by one foot sections,” Helmerichs said. “That was for ease of getting them down. We took them down, we laid them in our crates, and cataloged them. There are 190 crates with tiles in them.”

The company worked to keep all of the tiles organized. One challenge was dealing with some of the loose tiles that had fallen off.

“Each day we had anywhere from two to eight guys working on it,” Helmerichs said. “We started early in the morning to avoid the sun and heat. It took about a month to get it done. We just kind of figured out how to do this along the way.”

While the tiles are in storage, the company will wait for the next steps. “We are going to try and clean the tiles this winter when business is a little slower,” Helmerichs said. “I don’t know if there is a new spot yet for the mural, but I think we’ve done a pretty good job of cataloging this, how the tiles came down, and our goal is to put it back up to what it was.”