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Scene of Liberty wall collapse getting new look

Posted: 5:01 PM, Mar 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-23 18:11:15-04

LIBERTY, Mo. — The scene of a wall collapse on the Liberty square is getting a new look. 

May 3, 2016, a building in the downtown Liberty square partially collapsed. The 130-year old building that once housed Ethan Allen had been unoccupied. When bricks came crashing down, the owner was in the process of renovating. 

"We then asked for the property owner to put up this safety barrier and secure the area as well as to have a visual barrier until something could be built on the lot," said Liberty Community Development Manager Jeanine Thill. 

There are fifteen 6x12 panels blocking off the lot at the corner of Water and Kansas Streets, creating a what Thill called a giant canvas. 

Looking to build up an area that was brought down, the city issued a national call for artists, ultimately selecting John Soukup of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

"John's proposal really met what the jury was looking for in that it really celebrates Liberty's community, its culture and its history," Thill said. 

Traveling to and from Liberty, Soukup began work on the new mural about a week ago.

"Initially, it seemed pretty large, and a challenge, but I knew it could be done," Soukup said. 

Weather permitting, Soukup said he plans to be done within the next few days.

"The hope is that [visitors] stop and like it and take some pictures next to it, and while they're here, check out the rest of town if they've never been here before," Soukup said. 

In addition to the new mural, the City of Liberty plans to bring six new sculptures to the square this summer.