Local officials announced Wednesday efforts to save a mural hanging in a soon-to-be-closed store in Hicksville and keep it in the Town of Oyster Bay.
The massive mural of Long Island hangs in the Sears located off Route 106/107 and was painted for the store by prolific Manhattan-based artist G. Hunter Jones. When it was announced the Sears would close in April, residents began to wonder about the painting’s fate.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said a feasibility study will be conducted in the coming weeks to determine how the mural can best be preserved.
The town has also begun to consider future locations for the mural, including the Hicksville Athletic Center, the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage, the Life Enrichment Center at Oyster Bay and Hicksville High School, Saladino said.
“The Sears mural is a piece of our town’s history and has great meaning to the Hicksville community,” he said. “Our combined efforts will ensure the mural’s preservation for generations to come and our desire for it to remain here in the Town of Oyster Bay.”
Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust which owns the building, will fund the feasibility study. It’ll be carried out by Materials Conservation, a Philadelphia-based company that handled the removal of a similar mural in a Sears in Watchung, New Jersey.
The Watchung mural was spared from demolition last year after a historical committee launched a campaign to restore and remove the mural from a concrete wall, according to local news reports. Materials Conservation estimated that $40,000 was needed to save that painting.
Denice Evans-Sheppard, executive director of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, applauded the town for getting involved.
“It’s a good idea that the mural stays within the town because people love it,” Evans-Sheppard said. “It’s a beautiful piece — I wish we had the wall space for it.”