PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A mural painted in the early 1950s was discovered about two years ago in Downtown Panama City but now, the Historical Society, the building owner, and the tenant are ready to tell everyone about their findings.
A two-story building at 111 Harrison Avenue was once a burger joint, it sits right next to the popular Trigo Restaurant. During renovations in the downstairs portion, a mural was found. Robert Hurst was contacted to dive deeper into the historical significance.
“I was quite surprised to see a scene of Panama City along the bay from about Hathaway Bridge over to perhaps Tyndall and it depicted an old Panama City from the 40s or 50s,” Historical Society of Bay County Vice President Robert Hurst said.
Text on the mural indicates it was painted by Cedric Younger Von Rolston in 1954.
“He certainly did paint some murals and he seems to have been a kind of character that had no address, no permanent address and he just drove from town to town and would pick up jobs,” Hurst said.
Since it was found in 2021 the mural has been kept a secret between just a handful of people. But, now with an idea of what to do with the artwork, Hurst wanted to share what he believes to be the greatest find in Downtown Panama City.
“There were boards placed over it when they put a new wall coating over it, and the stains of those boards are left on the mural, it would be nice if as much of that to be removed as possible and I would like to see a lot of it touched up where it’s it’s been damaged,” Hurst said.
A similar process to the Brake Hardware mural that was recently touched up.
“I’m just so excited that we have uncovered this thing and that we have something that portrays Panama City as it was in the fifties that can be displayed here in downtown,” Hurst said.
After renovations are complete, 115 Harrison Avenue will be a sports bar and the mural will be preserved.