Pass by this sprawling piece of public art and you’ll instantly be given a visual history of Topeka. The vibrant mural wraps around an otherwise boring wall and is full of colorful images celebrating the city’s past and present.
The Great Mural Wall of Topeka honors the cultural history and ongoing spirit of Topekans and their neighborhoods. The mural adorns a wall surrounding a former water reservoir, a building owned by the Topeka Water Division.
The project was initiated in 2006 by the Chesney Park Neighborhood Improvement Association with a desire to instill community pride, beautify the neighborhood, and curtail graffiti. This vision became a reality in 2007, when the ideas of neighborhood residents brought this formerly “blank canvas” to life.
Since the first installment of this “People’s history of Topeka” appeared in 2007, the project has become a community-wide effort supported by a multitude of neighborhood organizations, funders, and volunteers. Under the direction of local artists Dave Loewenstein, KT Walsh, and Ashley Laird, community members have researched, designed, and painted scenes depicting Topeka’s rich history. The mural is set to be completed in 2019.