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Mural, mural on the wall, who on St. John's council votes to install?

A representation of what a proposed wall mural would look like on the side of The Rockhouse on Duckworth Street.
A representation of what a proposed wall mural would look like on the side of The Rockhouse on Duckworth Street. - Submitted

There were two dissenting votes Tuesday night at St. John’s city council about whether to allow an application to create a giant Lamb’s Rum mural on a huge outside wall of The Rockhouse at 383 Duckworth St.

Those two votes weren’t enough to toss a bottleneck into the application.

The rest of council voted to approve the mural.

The application to the city stated the mural would be along the western side of The Rockhouse building, facing Prince Edward Plaza.

“The applicant has designed a Lamb’s Rum mural which aims to celebrate Lamb’s shared history with Newfoundland,” a report in Monday’s agenda stated.

“The mural will include the Lamb’s logo as well as the text ‘we’ve got history’ and ‘here’s to making more.’ The mural will be part of a promotional video where wooden coasters will be affixed to the bottom portion of the wall. As passersby remove the coasters, the painted text ‘and here’s to making more’ will be revealed.”

Though the building is located in Heritage Area 2, and in the commercial downtown official district of the municipal plan and is zoned “commercial central mixed,” it is not designated as a heritage building by council.

It was noted in the Monday agenda that the city’s built heritage experts panel recommended city council approve the proposed mural.

That recommendation was enough for most councillors, but, Coun. Maggie Burton made a motion to reject the application, which was seconded by Coun. Sandy Hickman, who said he had some concerns about it.

Burton said the mural could be seen in area neighbourhoods by families and children, and could send the wrong message. She suggested the mural could be placed in a different location. She said she also feared that with the legalization of marijuana coming, similar advertising might be requested and wondered if that’s where the city wanted to go with such advertising.

Mayor Danny Breen noted the mural is in the downtown entertainment area, and with the heritage panel recommending acceptance, he said, “I won’t be supporting a rejection” of it.

After some debate, the motion to approve the mural application passed.

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