Iconic south side mural gets updates

Posted at 11:11 AM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 20:41:05-04
Commuters driving north on I-43 may have noticed changes to the iconic south-side mural called "Mural of Peace." Painted on the back of the Esperanza Unida International building, the piece has become a landmark for those coming into the city. 
The mural's creator, Reynaldo Hernandez, knows how important his art is to the South Side.
"It's kind of like a landmark for people. Truck drivers come in from Chicago and they say they know they're in Milwaukee when they go into downtown and see the's a welcoming sight for them," said Hernandez.
The building was foreclosed on in 2014, but Keystone Development purchased the building with plans to revamp the space. Developers have reached an agreement with Hernandez on how they'll treat the mural.
"The first floor will remain commercial. We currently have a restaurant, a radio station and a staffing firm. The top three floors are being converted into 36 apartments," said the president of Keystone Development, Cal Schultz.
The mural is painted on panels which are hung on the side of the building. Development plans include adding windows to the back of the building.  
"We have to compromise. Where the windows are going to be, we're going to match the  mural to the windows," says Hernandez, "It's kind of like the vinyl that you see on buses, where you can see out, but you can't see in." 
Schultz was also reassuring about the mural's future.
"There's also funds available to restore the mural once we've put it back up," he said.
"I appreciate that people in the city respect art, especially public art...if you do it right, they want to see it remain."