Recently, with the help of three college interns, Landmark Towns of Bucks County completed a 10 week mural art and landscaping project in downtown Bristol Borough. The 2009 Community Partner Internship Program, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), selected Landmark Towns as a grant recipient based on an application submitted in December 2008.
The project received the full support of Bristol Borough Council and the Artists of Bristol, a local group of artists, who partnered with Landmark Towns on the application.
Other organizations providing approval were the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP). Funding for the 10-week summer program is provided by PDC and DCED. Professional mentoring and technical support is provided by the PDC, PHS, and MAP.
Local businesses, non-profit groups and foundations, residents, and artists from the region provided additional cash and in-kind donations to support the project. Hundreds of volunteer hours were provided by local residents and area artists to complete the painting. Volunteers ranged in age and ability from the very young and novice, to mature, experienced artists.
The projects act as bookends to the downtown. The landscaping portion provides a gateway, welcoming visitors to enter, on the corner of Mill Street and Old Route 13. The mural, which depicts the history and people of Bristol Borough, occupies a former blank wall, above the Kelch House Restaurant, facing the Delaware River. Located at the top of the mural is the likeness of a wooden sign that reads, “Welcome, Friend”, a motto that has invited visitors and served the borough since 1824.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, August 6th, dedicating the mural to the past, current and future residents of Bristol Borough.