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Audios for 19 more River Basin murals go live on Otocast


Nineteen more audios providing the historical context of the murals surrounding the downtown Fort Myers River Basin are now live on Otocast:

  • Mural #8 by David Acevedo depicts the historic Gonzalez-Travers-Heitman home, which was built from remnants of the commanding officer’s quarters in the original 1850 fort;
  • Mural #14 by Lorrie Bennett depicts one of Fort Myers’ very first general stores, owned and operated by settler Jehu Blount;
  • Mural #15 by Sherry Lynn Diaz depicts Major James Evans, the man who homesteaded the land inside the palisade of the old fort and who donated the land for the town’s first two schoolhouses;
  • Mural #17 by Jacqueline Virtue depicts Fort Myers’ very first recreational pier, where youngsters did the latest dance crazes;
  • Mural #18 by Ava Roeder depicts of the Royal Palm Hotel taking a midday stroll on the famous hotel’s pier;
  • Mural #19 by Pat Collins depicts Fort Myers’ original fashionista, Flossie Hill, who coincidentally kept the town’s business district from burning to the ground in the great fire of 1903;
  • Mural #20 by Jacqueline Virtue depicts the fabled Royal Palm Hotel that served as the town’s calling card for winter visitors from 1898 until well into the 1930s;
  • Mural #21 by Pat Collins depicts Tootie McGregor Terry driving a stake into a form board for the seawall she convinced riverfront property owners to install between Monroe Street and Billy’s Creek in 1907;
  • Mural #22 by Victor Dotres depicts a Royal Palm Hotel guest posing with a seven foot tarpon he caught in the river;
  • Mural #23 by Rod Acosta depicts Fort Myers esteemed Sheriff,  Frank Tippins, and a small posse in a boat on the river heading for the Glades;
  • Mural #25 by Juan Pablo Almonacid depicts the Menges Brothers steamship Suwanee;
  • Mural #27 by Carolyn Gora depicts two men in a boat in front of Ireland’s Dock;
  • Mural #28 by Jacqueline Virtue depicts some of the business concerns that had their stores on Ireland’s Dock circa 1914;
  • Mural #30 by Cesar Aguilera depicts the Lee County Packing House with railroad spur before it burned down on January 30, 1914;
  • Mural #31 by Sanaa Bezzaz depicts the Menges Brothers sternwheel steamboat, Thomas A. Edison, which burned to the waterline in the packing house fire of January 30, 1914;
  • Mural #32 by Annie Crouch depicts one of the shipping labels used by the Lee County Packing Houses on the wooden boxes and crates in which it packed oranges;
  • Mural #33 by Roland Ruocco depicting the Memorial Day 1953 fire that destroyed the Lee County Packing House for the third and final time and led to the creation of Centennial Park;
  • Mural #41 by Roland Ruocco depicting the shuffleboard courts that used to be located east of the Hall of 50 States; and
  • Mural #48 by Shari Shifrin depicting one of the shrimp boats that used to tie of on the balustrade along the Caloosahatchee River.

In addition to the audio that tells the tale behind the mural, each entry on Otocast also includes the artist’s bio, photograph and the historic image or images on which they based their 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. Ten murals are finished but cannot be installed because the stanchion or obelisk they go on was damaged by the surge associated with Hurricane Ian. That notwithstanding, audios for 46 murals are now live on 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 view the murals that are now live on Otocast, together with the artist bios, photos and audios for the other outdoor artworks in the City’s public art collection.

More artist bios, photos and audios will be added to Otocast in the coming weeks. 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 on September 28, 2022.

July 12, 2023.


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