A couple of years ago, when 2147 Ellsworth St. was undergoing a major renovation, we were worried about the future of the mural on the side wall of the home. This mural, called We the Youth, had been painted in 1987 by Keith Haring along with kids from the Brandywine Workshop, and stood alone locally as a tribute to the late artist who grew up about an hour from Philadelphia.
Fortunately, the developer who was renovating the property understood the artistic and cultural value of the mural, and did not cover it up. Late last year, the property sold to new owners.
But according to the Inquirer, the mural was in rough shape after the renovation (mostly due to wear and tear, not the construction per se), with the stucco beginning to fail and paint chipping off the building. Fortunately, the Haring Foundation donated $30K to help Mural Arts restore the mural. This effort has been ongoing for several months and the newly restored mural was formally presented to the community over the weekend.
The property isn’t on a corner, but the garden space next door is owned by the Neighborhood Gardens Association and should remain as a green space in perpetuity. This space was, as part of the mural restoration, redesigned by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and landscape architects Composite Inc., a local group that was also involved in nearby Catharine Park. You’ll note that some large trees that were previously blocking views of the mural have been removed.
Hopefully, future generations will continue to experience and enjoy this pop-art mural as we have for the last twenty-five years. If you’re in the area, we recommend checking it out in person- our photos don’t really do it justice.