Work to Restore the Iconic Albion Coca-Cola Mural has Begun
After several years of fundraising and planning, restoration work has begun the historic Coca-Cola mural.
A downtown beautification project for Albion that began in late 2018 sparked a parallel effort by two native residents. While the first was focused on the overall downtown area, two women spearheaded an effort to restore the historic Coca-Cola mural. Janet Domingo and Linda Kolmodin, volunteer co-chairs of the Albion Community Foundation, according to MLive. The estimated cost to restore the sign was $50,000.
The Coca-Cola mural was originally believed to have taken shape in the downtown Albion district sometime around 1922. But archivists with the Coca-Cola Company were able to pinpoint its origins closer to 1908 to 1912, according to Linda Kolmodin. The style of the 'C' helped narrow down the timeframe. The size of the mural is rare for Coca-Cola and at 36’ x 40’, it's possibly the largest Coke mural in the world.
When word of the effort reached Coca-Cola headquarters the company donated $7,5000 to the Albion Community Foundation, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. In turn, the Lansing Great Lakes Bottling Company matched the donation bringing the total up to $15,000.
It would still take a string of fundraisers and matching grants to raise the remaining funds. Then the pandemic hit, putting a pause on the project as well as many other facets of everyday life. At the beginning of June this year, signs of the project moving forward were easy to see with equipment being brought in for masonry work to take place on the bricks of the building.
Depending on weather conditions, the mural could be completed in a couple of weeks. The last restoration of the mural took place in the early 1980s.
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