A well-known mural in Hicksville will soon be without a home, and some Long Islanders aren’t happy about it.
The massive painting of Long Island, by G. Hunter Jones, hangs in the Hicksville Sears, which is scheduled to close in April. Jones was commissioned to create dozens of paintings in Sears stores across the country that captured some aspect of each one’s local history.
It’s not yet clear if the mural can be preserved or where it may end up. But since a Newsday story was published about the painting, readers have called, emailed and commented with suggestions about where it should go.
Keep it in Hicksville
Many think the painting should remain in the community. After all, Hicksville is starred on the 20-foot-wide map.
Jean Spurvey suggested the Hicksville Public Library, while others thought it could hang in Hicksville High School. The Hicksville Gregory Museum, which focuses on natural and local history, was also thrown into the running, though Hicksville Historical Society President Derek Stadler said the museum likely doesn’t have enough wall space to accommodate it.
Hang it in a museum
James Gill asked if the Long Island Children’s Museum or the Cradle of Aviation, both in Garden City, could find room for the painting.
“I remember the mural and the candy counter that used to be right next to the stairs,” Gill commented. “I was actually in the store last week. Bought some boots right across the aisle from the sign and took a picture of the mural to have. I hope they can save it.”
Other readers suggested the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor and Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn.
Is there room with Roosevelt?
“How about Sagamore Hill?” Stephanie DeMaria-Kilduff asked, referring to Theodore Roosevelt’s home, often known as the “Summer White House.”
She and many others thought the mural should end up in the home of one of the men it honors, like at Roosevelt’s Oyster Bay estate or Walt Whitman’s birthplace in Huntington Station. Patty Meade even suggested Meadow Croft Estate in Sayville, owned by Roosevelt’s cousin John Ellis Roosevelt.
Give it a home elsewhere on Long Island
Michael DiBernardo wondered if the mural could rest at the Mineola building where the Nassau County Legislature meets.
“I remember this well when my parents took me to Sears,” DiBernardo commented. “I would look at the painting till my eyes burned holes in it.”
A few people thought the mural should hang in Roosevelt Field mall, where “everyone can enjoy it,” one reader wrote.
Jane Giambalvo of Huntington said the mural would fit nicely in a hallway at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, where it can greet new arrivals.
“It would speak for itself saying, ‘Here you are, this is Long Island . . . ’ ” Giambalvo wrote in an email.
Linda Krisch of North Merrick recommended Old Bethpage Restoration Village, where the mural could be viewed by hundreds of schoolchildren who learn about Long Island’s history at the site each year.
“Everyone, young and old, tourist and native, would enjoy seeing and learning from its presence,” Krisch wrote in an email.
Some readers even offered their own homes.
“I’ll be happy to put it in my living room,” Christina Cleary wrote. “I have the room!”