Volunteers and Memphis College of Art students hope to liven up the underpass on Cooper Street at Peabody Park with a vibrant mural.
A group led by Betsy Robinson has launched a fundraising campaign on ioby to raise the $1,655 needed to bring the mural to life. The group has raised $750 so far and says work on the mural, which would be located on the railroad underpass on Cooper between Higbee Avenue and Central Avenue, could begin June 1 and be completed by August 1.
“So many people drive under this forgotten trestle on a daily basis,” the group stated in its fundraising announcement. “It is dark and dingy, yet it is in the center of a great neighborhood. By painting a colorful mural the aesthetics and esteem of the neighborhood and its members will be increased.”
Projects like the proposed mural, while they may seem like minor improvements in the grand scheme of things, can have a profound impact. In 2001, the Cooper-Young Historic District trestle, which hovers over Cooper near Central, was dedicated. The 150-foot long steel sculpture depicting homes and businesses in the neighborhood has since served as the “front door” to Cooper-Young.
The Cooper Young Business Association says activity in the neighborhood is at an all-time high, with 187 businesses, including 16 that have opened since January, operating in the area. The business association recently hung 26 banners, featuring images of Cooper-Young business owners and patrons, on street poles in the area, launched a new logo for the neighborhood and made improvements to the gazebo area at the intersection of Cooper and Young Avenue.