New location and funding being sought for 9th and Wharton mural

While hanging out at the new pop-up garden at 9th and Wharton, you might notice how much the mural featuring the faces of some of South Philly’s music and film stars is crumbling.

Photo of the mural from PhillyMag.

The deteriorating mural across from Pat’s King of Steaks was originally set to be whitewashed this spring before the opening of the pop-up garden. Instead of seeing this vanish forever, a new South Philly location and funding is being sought out to relocate this mural in a timely manner.

Even if the mural wasn’t being whitewashed, it would still be covered up if the proposed four-story development project is built on this lot. 

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Huge portraits of Rydell, Avalon, Checker, Fabian, Eddie Fisher, Martino, and the DJ Jerry Blavat are chipped and faded. The mural has been so damaged, presumably by roof leaks, that the city’s Mural Arts Program had planned to paint over it this spring – what it calls a retirement with “dignity.”

One reason for the decision: The painting’s future appears doomed by plans for the lot next door. The rise of a proposed four-story development would block the mural.

But just a few weeks ago the whitewashing plan was scrubbed and replaced with a mad dash to find money and a new wall somewhere else in South Philly.

To save and relocate this mural, a total of $70,000 or more will need to be raised.

Where would you like to see this mural relocated to?

8 thoughts on “New location and funding being sought for 9th and Wharton mural

  • June 2, 2015 at 9:30 am


    I mean, I get that those guys are icons, but the mural it self is pretty awful. it looks like someone painted giant baseball cards on a wall.

    The street scene behind it is cool, but you can barely see it.

    Scrap it and maybe commission a NEW mural somewhere else.

  • June 2, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I like the spirit and history the mural conveys, but artistically I feel a different design could do the subject matter more justice. I would rather see the money raised to retire it with dignity and create a new mural in a different location with the same subject matter.

  • June 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Seriously?!?!?! $70,000? How about raising that money instead to pick up trash and dog poop in South Philly?

  • June 2, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    On top of the now defunct Rita’s at Passunk and Reed. That blank white facade needs some life!

  • June 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Spending money on murals is a complete waste! They’re only purpose is temporary improvement of a blank space. Plus, the only reason it’s falling apart is because the building owner has done no maintenance to the structure – his responsibility!!

    • June 3, 2015 at 9:12 am

      If they call it an “art installation” like they did at 13th & Mifflin, then everyone would be thrilled.

  • June 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    The side panels of the Rite Aid at 9th and Catherine. Historically the location of Palumbos Night Club where they all performed. No danger in that wall coming down.

    • June 7, 2015 at 12:29 am

      There are better uses for $70.000. A new mutal in one of the parks?

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