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New "Greetings From Tallahassee" mural unveiled in Railroad Square

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Published: May. 25, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 25, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A new mural in Railroad Square could be your new selfie spot; a hotel developer is hoping it's the perfect welcome to those visiting Tallahassee.

The "Greetings From Tallahassee" mural is located on the back of "The Other Side Vintage" facing the Capital Cascades Greenway in Railroad Square.

Mountain Shore Properties, one of the developers involved in the Hyatt House project, curated the mural in partnership with the Railroad Square Art Park.

The Hyatt House is scheduled to open in early 2021; it will be located at the front entrance of Railroad Square, bringing tourists to the doorstep of the local arts scene, which now includes a brand new mural.

"Greetings from Tallahassee" took muralist Kollet Hardeman 47 hours to complete.

"When COVID hit, we pushed together our timeline," said Hardeman.

The mural was originally scheduled to be unveiled in late June.

"Tallahassee needed a hug," said Hardeman. "So, we did it a little sooner."

The CEO of Mountain Shore Properties Stephen Wendell says he wants his hotel to embrace the arts as the new front door of Railroad Square.

"Welcoming to Tallahassee, showing everything that's great about Tallahassee, but also giving a nod to both us as the hotel developers and Railroad Square," said Wendell over the phone.

Each letter features a different element of the City; Hardeman says she based much of the art off of her personal experience growing up in Tallahassee, but also tied in major attractions that draw in tourists.

"Canopy roads, and the Museum, and our college football!" said Hardeman.

According to Visit Tallahassee, images in the Tallahassee letters also include the Historic Capitol, and offer tribute to two university professors, including the artwork of Dr. Ron Yrabedra, retired FAMU Art professor and the longest-term artist in Railroad Square, and the depiction of a sculpture of the late Charles Hook, the FSU Sculpture professor known for his instructional iron pours.

Hardeman's favorite letter in the word "Tallahassee" is the final E that she painted; it's part of a goodbye as she moves on to her next city.

"Jim Russell and Quia Atkinson, I put them in feature tents for the LeMoyne, so that one's bittersweet for me. For me, it's just knowing I leave Tallahassee in good artistic hands," said Hardeman.

The Hyatt House is not the only construction taking place at Railroad Square; a new retail space of about 6,000 square feet is also under construction, with Real Estate InSync involved in the project. The tenants for that space have not yet been announced, but developers say it's important to keep the character of Railroad Square intact, honoring the arts.

Hardeman won't be the only artist featured in the development; the Hyatt House will have work from five local artists, inside and outside.

  • An outdoor sculpture by Mark Dickson that pays homage to the industrial history of the area
  • Original works in the lobby and common areas by Christl Grow, Robert Saltarelli and Perdita Ross
  • Reproduced photography in Guest Rooms by Katie Clark
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