Pershing mural in storage, search for new location continues

Pure Nebraska
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The enormous and iconic mural that once appeared above the Pershing Center in Lincoln is now down and in storage.

The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation, along with local artist and arts advocate Liz Shea-McCoy, is leading the fundraising effort to save the 38 foot-by-140-foot mural.

“We were able to raise about $1 million in four months to get the mural removed,” Shea-McCoy said. “A lot of the fundraising success was based on many of the memories we all had at the auditorium, and I’m speaking of generations.”

Each of the 763,000 square-inch tiles have come down. The effort to save the mural has been successful but its future home remains unclear.

“Now we are working closely with the city of Lincoln on the re-installation site of the mural,” Shea-McCoy said. “We want a well-trafficked area, and we are going to build a plaza in front of it. We want teachers to bring their students to look at the mural as a springboard for inspiration. We want Nebraskans and visitors to come and look at the mural. It will be brought down to eye level, so people can see it up close. Topographical lines of Nebraska are actually built into the mural. It’s very abstract, whether it’s the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail. It’s a Nebraska icon, and it’s a piece of art that represents the state.”

The mural is now being stored in a warehouse. Shea-McCoy says the next step is finding the new location for the mural. Once that location is found, grant writing can begin. Donations are once again needed.

If you would like to donate, you can send a check to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. (128 North 13th Street, Suite 1010, Lincoln, NE 68508), noting Pershing Mural Preservation Project in the ‘memo’ line of the check. You can also donate online to the foundation.