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Heart of Downtown Charleston WV Public Art Tour
Item 10 of 28
This is a contributing entry for Heart of Downtown Charleston WV Public Art Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
This untitled work — affectionately referred to as the San Francisco Mural by locals — is one of Charleston's oldest murals. Spanning several stories and a large potion of a block, it is no wonder it took artist Bart Davies two years to complete the paint on brick piece, which was finished in 1985. It graces the southern façade of One Bridge Place. This building was constructed in 1890 as a wholesale grocery company. The mural is painted using trompe l'oeil technique — French for "trick of the eye." It is designed to look as if the plain rear face of the structure is actually a row of Victorian townhomes. The building's real windows are incorporated seamlessly into the mural. Barely visible in one of the fake windows is a chilling image: a hanged man. There is no clear evidence as to why Davies included this morbid element in an otherwise banal mural, though urban legends and conspiracy theories abound. Despite the mural's age, it remains in excellent condition.

Davies' Untitled Mural is known as the San Francisco Mural by locals.

Window, Neighbourhood, Architecture, Facade

Hamilton, Judy E. Charleston Growing as a Mural Art City, Charleston Gazette-Mail. July 20th 2014. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Metamorphosed Buildings, Geocaching. October 3rd 2002. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Stevenson, Jeanne. Five Coolest Murals in Charleston, WV, Echo Lit Arts. November 6th 2017. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Undiscovered Public Art, Charleston WV. Accessed December 10th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Office of Public Art, Charleston WV. Accessed December 10, 2020.