Update: There is now a GoFundMe Donation page available.
The fight over preservation of historic murals inside Mamaroneck High School continues.
At a meeting Thursday night organized by the Mamaroneck Historical Society, local leaders discussed alternative locations for the 80-year-old murals in order to possibly prevent their destruction.
The Mamaroneck School Board voted January 18 to approve construction of a Design and Innovation Lab that would result in the demolition of 2 murals on a former cafeteria wall. 5-6 remaining murals will be buried behind new walls.
The murals are dedicated to James Fenimore Cooper, who lived in Mamaroneck, and his novels, including his most famous book, “The Last of the Mohicans.”
Mamaroneck Historical Society Co-President John Pritts says he was heartened that representatives from the three local municipalities “each suggested public buildings in each of their areas that might be considered for relocating our James Fenimore Cooper murals.”
Meanwhile, a group of concerned residents, “Save the Mamaroneck High School WPA Era Murals,” has been organizing a fundraiser to “cover the cost of removal, restoration (if possible and necessary), storage (until a suitable new home is found), and reinstallation,” according to Debb Mastromatteo, an MHS Alumna and one of the founders of the group. “The estimate for removal alone is around 150k, so a good deal of money will be required.”
The donations will be collected through a GoFundMe effort, to be announced.
Ms. Mastromatteo said she was in communication with Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps, who, she says, “expressed a willingness on the part of the BOE to work with us by providing limited additional time to remove the murals, or as many as possible based on funding, prior to the start of construction. This is a huge step forward and we are so pleased.”
The murals were installed and dedicated at the school 80 years ago on Sept. 15, 1941 –Cooper’s birthday.
Polly Kreisman is the founder and publisher of the Larchmont Loop, an actor and a 15-time Emmy Award winning former investigative reporter. She lives in Larchmont with her twins and two badly behaved dogs.