Hundreds of Herkimer Central School District students artistic abilities soon will be on display in the village.
As part of an ongoing effort by the Herkimer Now Main Street Revitalization group to beautify downtown, local students have been charged with the task of painting murals to cover shattered windows and broken doors of the former Glory Days building on North Main Street.
"First of all, we wanted to make it look better — the outside of the building," Herkimer NOW member Scott Petucci said. "We didn't want to forget that building for a number of reasons."
The building, at 248 N. Main St. in Herkimer, was where shooter Kurt Myers retreated to after shooting six people — killing four — in Mohawk and Herkimer. He later was shot and killed by police after a roughly 24-hour standoff.
Beyond the tragedy that the building represents, Petucci said there's a lot of history to it as well.
Glory Days formerly was the General Herkimer Hotel, and village Mayor Mark Ainsworth said many residents had weddings when the business still was operational.
"That building had many memories for people in the community," he said. "It was a very important building throughout the history of the village."
The vacant building, which Ainsworth said is owned by New Jersey resident Bama Sathya and her husband, soon will be decorated with seasonal-themed murals created by the youth of the community. County property records list ADVA Enterprises Inc. based in New Jersey as the owner.
The murals will be erected Dec. 21 on the Glory Days building, Petucci said.
"We decided that the high school is doing a winter theme and the elementary school is doing a spring/summer theme," said Heather McCutcheon, an art teacher in the school district. "We just picked landscapes that had to do with those themes."
McCutcheon said she's introduced different murals from around the country and in Utica to teach the high school art students. Also, more than 500 elementary students also get the opportunity to be a part of the project.
"They're affecting their whole community" with this project, she said. "They usually don't get that aspect. It also gives them a chance to be proud of something."
As for the future of the building, that has yet to be determined.
Ainsworth said at the time the owners are re-evaluating the project they initially planned.
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