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Audios for four more River Basin murals go live on Otocast


Four more River Basin mural audios are now live on Otocast:

Mural # 26 depicts the Coca Cola Bottling Plant that was located on the City Pier in 1914. While it’s almost impossible to fathom now, back then the water in the river was so clean and pure that the plant mixed it with the patented syrup to bottle and distribute the soft drink locally. The audio for this mural, which was painted by the artist known as Lady Light, tells this tale and recounts the long and storied history of our local Coca Cola Bottler through the decades.

Mural #34 is a realist rendering by local artist Donna Kreutz of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Pier that once extended from the foot of Monroe Street where the Caloosahatchee Bride is located today. In this audio, you’ll learn about a long-gone era when catfish and bass caught in Lake Okeechobee were transported by riverboat to the ACL Pier, where they were crated, iced and shipped by rail to northern markets.

Mural #38 is Davis Rost’s painting of the front of the municipal auditorium and dance hall known in 1927 as the Pleasure Palace because of its ostentatious Moorish architecture, which was all the rage during the Roaring 20s. Listen on Otocast as the Voice of Public Art in Fort Myers, Bill Taylor, tells you about this storied recreation center that gave birth a decade and a half later to the Hall of 50 States.

Mural #39 is a beautifully nostalgic painting of legendary Fort Myers High swim coach Wes Nott supervising one of his Green Wavette divers in 1947. At one time, the Green Wave swim teams trained at the municipal pool that was located at the foot of the “Pleasure Pier” that extended into the river from Heitman Street that runs along the eastern edge of present-day Centennial Park West. Israel Alpizar is the artist who rendered this mirror image mural.

The Fort Myers River Basin Mural Project is a collaboration between the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and the Fort Myers Mural Society to create an outdoor, walkable art and history museum that features 57 murals which tell the tale of Fort Myers’ early existence as a port on the Caloosahatchee River. Painted on specially-manufactured mural cloth by 38 area artists, the panels are being installed on the concrete pillars or stanchions and four obelisks that encircle the detention basin adjacent to Luminary Hotel.

So far, 43 of the 57 murals have been installed.

Artist bios, photographs (including the historic images the artists referenced in creating their paintings) and audios providing historical context for 21 of the murals have been uploaded to Otocast, the free mobile phone app to which the City subscribes in an ongoing effort to familiarize the public with the murals, sculpture and other artworks in its outdoor public art collection. The audios give listeners a better feel for what makes Fort Myers so special and the trials and tribulations that we’ve met and overcome since our founding on February 21, 1866.

Go here to read about the first 17 River Basin murals to be uploaded to Otocast.

More artist bios, photos and audios will be added to Otocast in the coming weeks and months. And the rest of the murals will be installed on the stanchions and obelisks encircling the river basin as soon as the City fixes those that were damaged by Ian back on September 28th.

March 6, 2023.


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