Crews begin to carefully remove historic mural at Lincoln’s Pershing Auditorium

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The historic mural at the Pershing Auditorium is coming down slowly but surely.

On Wednesday, crews began methodically removing sections of the mural from the Pershing’s western exterior.

The effort was made possible thanks to a four-month fundraising measure led by the Effort to Save the Pershing Mural, which so far has raised $844,000.

The mural will be removed by the first week of September, according to Liz Shea-McCoy, chairwoman of the committee.

Crews will extract about 250 4-by-8-foot sections of the mural by attaching a specialized material that is similar to contact paper.

“Looking at it, this is only one day’s work here and it’s amazing,” said Roger Lempke, logistics coordinator.  “I was amazed to see that they’ve gotten a whole section off already, and they seem to be very steady progress moving forward.”

Once the mural is removed, Phase II will begin.

The second phase will include the mural’s restoration and installation at a location that has not yet been decided.

This will cost an additional $2 million, which also includes an endowment for future maintenance, restoration and repair.

Donations for the restoration and reinstallation of the mural can be made here.

The Pershing Auditorium, which opened in 1957, housed performances from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead and Neil Young.

The historic venue was shut down in 2014, one year after Pinnacle Bank Arena was opened.

It will be demolished once crews remove asbestos from the building, which is set to begin in September.

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