Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Turtle Place mural

A few days ago, I did a theme day here and posted about a bunch of murals around downtown Vancouver, WA. It turns out I had at least one more VanWa mural post in my ginormous Drafts folder, so I figured I ought to post it before the others scroll off the front page. Until fairly recently, downtown Vancouver had its own "transit mall" along 7th St., a smaller version of the one in downtown Portland. Like Portland's bus mall, it acquired a bad reputation for loitering, drug deals, homelessness, etc., and in 2007 C-Tran (the Clark County mass transit agency) closed the bus mall and sent the buses somewhere else (I'm not entirely sure where they went). So this left the city with an unused half-block parcel of land downtown, which they decided to turn into a tiny park called "Turtle Place". Apparently C-Tran still owns the land here, and the park is meant to be temporary, to be removed once a shiny new Bus Rapid Transit line comes to town Real Soon Now. In the interim, they've taken a few steps to spruce up the mini-part a bit: There are a couple of interpretive signs, some old not-quite-vintage signs left over from the bus mall, a big steampunk water feature, and the gigantic mural you see here. The mural's just called Turtle Place, and was painted in 2010 by Guy Drennan, who also created a couple of the other Vancouver murals we looked at the other day. At first sight I actually thought this was a billboard; it doesn't help that "Turtle Place" sounds like it might be an upscale subdivision, or maybe a nursing home or something. But no, it merely tells you where you are. I suppose this is still better than having an ugly blank wall to look at here.

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