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Developer, Residents Discuss Plans for Preserving Chuck Brown Mural in Petworth

by Jordan-Marie Smith — August 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm 0

Developers discussed mural with residents

(Updated at 4:41 p.m.) Sweet Mango Cafe’s endangered Chuck Brown mural might have a second life after all.

Representatives from Rooney Properties, the developer tearing down the building that houses the mural at 3701 New Hampshire Ave., discussed future plans for the site with locals during last night’s Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force at M.O.M.I.E’s TLC.

For many residents that attended the meeting, preserving the mural, which was painted by MacFarland Middle School students in 2012, was a high priority.

“We’re not just talking about an image of [Chuck Brown], but the longevity of the art and culture that’s here,” said one resident.

Rooney Properties Director of Development Lex Lefebvre said that although they haven’t settled on exactly how keep the mural, they are looking at a number of options.

Possibilities for preserving the mural include copying it in the building’s lobby and reproducing it at MacFarland Middle School or another building in the neighborhood.

And Lefebvre added he’d like the artist who painted the mural to help with the project. (Side note: The mural is a blown-up reproduction of a 1992 photo by Washington City Paper photographer Darrow Montgomery.)

“I’d love to speak with the artist who spearheaded it,” Lefebvre said. He added that he previously reached out to the artist behind Sweet Mango Cafe’s Chuck Brown mural and left a message, but has not heard back from him.

Construction on the five-story condominium and street-level retail space will likely finish by summer 2016.

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