If you're in downtown St. Petersburg, take a detour to City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N, to check out the almost completed conservation of George Snow Hill's mural hanging in the staircase. Noted conservator Rustin Levenson and her team have been cleaning it all week. Painted in the mid 1940s, it depicts people at play at the old Municipal Pier where the current one now stands. It played a part in a controversial incident in 1966 when a young activist, Joe Waller, now known as Omali Yeshitela, ripped a companion mural from the opposite wall because it was considered racist. He served two years in prison but decades later, the City Council issued an apology and in 2000, Yeshitela's rights were restored by Gov. Jeb Bush. It was probably destroyed while in an evidence storage facility. The existing mural is not charged with racial undertones. It can be viewed anytime during City Hall hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Through this Friday, you can see conservation at work.
Image from the city of St. Petersburg