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Mural of ‘Canalligator’ draws people to Medina, but project needed permit

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 July 2020 at 1:49 pm

Planning Board will decide if mural stays, and if 2 more are appropriate

Photos by Tom Rivers: The new mural of the Canalligator has been popular on social media. The large painting is on the back of a building in an alley off Proctor Place, a block from Main Street.

MEDINA – A mural on a cinder block building in a Medina alley is already popular on the Instagram and TikTok social media sites. The “Canalligator” stretches out about 50 feet, and shows an alligator lounging by the canal, holding a “Go Bills” flag.

Tim Meyers, a Buffalo based artist, finished the project about two weeks ago.

“Everybody that has seen it loves it and says it looks amazing,” said Edee Hoffmeister, owner of Celebrity Day Spa.

The mural is partly on the back of her building and also a building owned by the Tom Fenton Trust. The total mural is about 75 feet long, and includes some boarded up windows.

The village code enforcement office said the project was done without a proper permit and notification to the village.

Provided photo: This is how the site looked before the project.

Dan Gardner, the village code enforcement officer, sent a letter on July 10 to the Tom Fenton Trust and the Hoffmeister, saying the mural was out of compliance and failed to get a certificate of appropriateness from the Village of Medina Planning Board. The project shouldn’t have started without an application being submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer, who then submits the application to the Planning Board, according to the letter.

The village code states a certificate of appropriateness is needed for any exterior alterations in the Historic Preservation District when those alterations are visible from a public street or alley, and the project “affects the appearance and cohesiveness of the Historic Preservation District.”

The village Planning Board will consider the matter during its Aug. 4 meeting at 7 p.m.

The Form Foundation, a non profit devoted to public arts projects in Medina, spearheaded the project. The group would like to do two other murals this year in Medina in the area near Proctor Place, a block off Main Street. The group will ask the Planning Board to approve those projects on Aug. 4.

The mural includes several boarded up windows on the back of a building.

One of the proposed new murals would be on cinder blocks on the back of a building owned by Rita Zambito on Proctor Place, close to Pearl Street.

Another mural is planned for a cinder block building at the corner of Pearl Street and West Avenue.

Medina Mayor Mike Sidari said the village current expectations for murals are they should have a historic theme, connecting to Medina’s past.

The Canalligator mural may fit the historic theme, anyway. There is local lore of an alligator in the canal at one time. Tim Meyers, who goes by “Murkedelic” in his social media, was able to create a mural of the canal and the alligator.

“I haven’t heard anything bad about it,” Hoffmeister said. “I love it. It looks way better than they did.”

The mural is in the back parking area for her employees. But she said people from Buffalo have been showing up to look at the mural.

The Form Foundation has raised $38,000 for public murals. The group would like to change them every two to three years with a yearly festival to planned around the painting of the murals.

The group says it wants to clean up blighted, non-historic structures “in a progressive way young families and professionals would be attracted to.”

Tim Meyers, who goes by Murkedelic with his social media, created the mural on the back of Celebrity Day Spa.

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