Mural at Chavez Elementary. Photo by Claire Weissbluth.

After months of a huge white stripe running through the face of a mural of Cesar Chavez at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, the two-story mural is finally getting its much needed facelift. It appears to be close to completion.

In September of 2013, we reported that a white stripe of plaster was added to the wall of the building to shore up some water damage. Here’s what it looked like before:

The white stripe across the top of the mural is slated to be restored in the summer of 2014. Photo by Andra Cernavskis

The renovations were supposed to happen last summer, but were sidestepped due to other renovation projects. Here’s more detail:

Precita Eyes Muralists originally painted the mural in 1995 after the school changed its name from Hawthorne Elementary. Even then, said Precita’s executive director and founder Susan Cervantes, the wall was compromised and the muralists did their best to stabilize it.

“It was like painting on sand,” Cervantes said of the soft stucco.

A few years ago, large pieces of the damaged section began to fall off the wall, creating safety concerns for the school.

“We didn’t want any children to get hurt,” Cervantes said.

School district engineers first removed the stucco from the damaged part of the mural more than a year ago. They then re-plastered the area.

Cervantes said the restoration was supposed to happen over the summer, but instead the school was busy with retrofitting and a project to improve classrooms, offices, and bathrooms.

We’re glad Chavez has got his face  back. Here’s hoping he doesn’t experience any more water-damage.

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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    1. I guess you had never seen it before? It looks the same as it always did, which I think is great