FLW mural

The idea for a Frank Lloyd Wright mural originated with this building in Springfield, Ill.

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MASON CITY | A plan to help beautify downtown Mason City with a Frank Lloyd Wright theme has the "backing" of Iowa Arts Council, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce and a downtown business.

And the backing takes on more than one meaning because the beautification involves the back of a building — Brick Furniture — which will soon be adorned with a mural bearing a Frank Lloyd Wright style of design.

Chamber President Robin Anderson said in a news release citizens and visitors who approach Mason City’s downtown from virtually any direction are "greeted" by the unsightly backs of buildings.

"As one of 'The World’s 20 Best Cities for Architecture,' we didn’t feel we were necessarily putting our best foot forward," she said.

"We viewed the city’s partnership with the University of Iowa’s Office of Outreach and Engagement as an opportunity to get this project started," said Anderson.

The University of Iowa offered the services of art student Alexandra Hval to design and paint the mural. The university will pay for the design, and the Chamber will pay for materials and the artist’s fee.

The hope is to have murals painted on the backs of other downtown buildings. The building owners will be responsible for surface preparation costs and other items, Anderson said.

Brick Furniture owner Matt Brick said, "When I was approached with this concept, we jumped at the chance to put a geometric design on our building. Architecture is quickly becoming Mason City’s dominant attraction, and these murals are the perfect way to emphasize its importance."

Surface preparation and priming is underway on the back of the building. Painting is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Aug. 12.

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