Mural of historic downtown Medina endures for decades

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

This mural inside KeyBank in Medina shows how the current Blissetts Specialty Shop looked at left more than a century ago. Rotary Park, at right, used to have a commercial building at the corner of Main and East Center streets.

MEDINA – Greg Stanton remembers coming into the former Marine Midland Bank on Main Street after hours and on weekends to paint a mural that stretches more than 20 feet long.

Stanton used panoramic photos of the downtown from about a century ago to create the scene that has now endured inside the bank since 1984. When he painted the mural, the bank was owned by Marine Midland. It was later bought by HSBC, which sold the Medina site in January 2012 to KeyBank.

Stanton created four murals in all for the bank in 1984. Three have been painted over, but the one of the historic downtown endures.

Customers enjoy the painting, and many often to stop to look at it, said Bob Rice, the relationship manager for the bank at 514 Main St.

I hadn’t been inside the bank for several years until Friday. I thought it was Mary Zelazny’s last day and wanted to do a story on her. She has one more week before she retires after 37 years. She is the site’s branch manager.

I hadn’t seen the mural before, and I think it’s an impressive depiction of the downtown. In many ways Main Street hasn’t changed too much, and that is one of the charms of Medina’s downtown.

Stanton was 28 when he painted that mural. He is happy it has remained inside the bank for 31 years and counting.

“I never expected it to last this long,” he said. “It’s something I love doing.”

The Napa Auto Parts building on Main Street used to have a tall tower.

Stanton also created murals of Medina’s coat of arms, the train depot, and he thinks a canal scene. Those ones were painted over.

Zelazny said she hopes the large mural will remain part of the bank.

“It was a fun job,” Stanton recalled. “It was a labor of love.”

He remembers trying to paint the mural during regular bank hours, but people kept talking to him, preventing him from working on the job.

“It’s kind of neat that it has stayed,” he said about the artwork. “Which will live longer, the mural or me?”

The current KeyBank site at 514 Main St. used to be a Post Office.