"Along with the city of Cartersville we took on the initiative to spruce up the area," said Felicia Hudson, sales administrator for SECO Architectural Systems Inc., which is funding and installing the mural. "We work with some of the manufacturers in that area. They produce metal wall panels and we install metal wall panels on buildings all over the Southeast. It's kind of a new thing we're doing, a branding-type market, and the city of Cartersville wanted us to come out and do some sort of mural on that building.
"We came up with the idea and got together with the board [of zoning appeals] and worked together to come to a final image and that's sort of how it came about. We had to go to the zoning appeals because they considered it to be a sign. So we worked with them to get it on track and after we got that approval we went forward."
Inspired by Margaret Mines' watercolor painting "The Bartow County Composite," the photographic mural was designed by William Hudson and highlights six Bartow County landmarks: Cartersville train depot, Rose Lawn, gold-domed courthouse, Booth Western Art Museum, The Grand Theatre and the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site. With all of the images installed by 2 p.m. Tuesday, the mural is starting to take shape and is expected to be completed by late September.
"There's so many images that you really have to step back and look at it and think, 'Wow, this really is the history of Cartersville.' ... at the top it says, 'Cartersville' and then underneath that is written 'City of Opportunity,'" Hudson said. "So we kind of wanted to express that it was a booming, bustling town -- rail town back in its day -- and we think that it still has the potential to be a positive community and make a name for itself rather than just kind of being on the outskirts of Atlanta. ... part of our goal was to make people see that even though [the mural is] in an industrial area, great things are going on even in the corners of Cartersville that people may not be fully aware of."
In addition to serving as a marking tool for SECO, Hudson said she hopes the mural will inspire and educate Cartersville residents and visitors alike.
"It's one of those things that you can bring your family to and just say, 'This is what this is,'" Hudson said. "I think people forget what's in Cartersville. I didn't even know they had the Indian Mounds and I went out there myself to take pictures and look at it and said, 'Well, this is just rich with culture and history.' And I think people don't realize it, even living there, so I think it's a good tool to educate."
Owned by Coosa Valley Investments, the building was part of the old Spring City Mill, which was built in the early 1900s.
"Coosa Valley Investments bought the old Spring City Mill property, now called Cartersville Technology Park, in 1998," said Beth Tilley, vice president of Coosa Valley Investments. "Over the last 12 years this facility has seen major demolition, renovation and restoration.
"We were excited to welcome Profab Metal to the community and to Cartersville Technology Park several years ago. They are an excellent community partner and the company is one of the best that we have worked with. The installation of this art project is something that we are very, very excited about. We feel like this is a great beginning of the redevelopment and revitalization of North Town and something the whole community can be proud of."