‘Dreaming’ in full color

Detail of City of Dreams/River of History before maintenance work. The 80 foot long mural by Richard Wyatt is located in Union Station’s East Portal.

Detail of City of Dreams/River of History before maintenance work. The 80 foot long mural by Richard Wyatt is located in Union Station’s East Portal.

View of City of Dreams/River of History following maintenance work. The mural surface, painted aluminum honeycomb panels, was thoroughly dusted and pigeon—ahem!—deposits were removed.

View of City of Dreams/River of History following maintenance work. The mural surface, painted aluminum honeycomb panels, was thoroughly dusted and pigeon—ahem!—deposits were removed.

Following an intricate maintenance effort last week, the artwork City of Dreams/River of History, a mural by Los Angeles based artist Richard Wyatt, has returned to its original luster.

City of Dreams is part of an art grouping in Union Station’s East Portal that was installed in 1996. To keep it looking bright and new, specialized Metro Art staff perched high above the mural (with proper safety equipment, of course) used compressed air and 30-foot-long poles outfitted with soft lambs wool to delicately dust the surface.

Commuters and visitors to Union Station will continue to be greeted by these ten outstanding — now refreshed — faces, representing Native Americans and settlers of the LA basin, as well as contemporary Angelenos.

Metro Art staff oversaw a major cleaning and varnishing effort by art conservators in 2004.

To learn more about the other artworks accompanying City of Dreams, including a 7,500-gallon aquarium, river bench and artifact mound containing artifacts excavated from the original Chinatown, go here.

View more images of the mural below:

Mural with sun filtering through the glass dome. Pigeon culprits survey the scene.

Mural with sun filtering through the glass dome. Pigeon culprits survey the scene.

Specialized Metro Art staff work from above the mural in the wee hours, to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Specialized Metro Art staff work from above the mural in the wee hours, to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Specialized Metro Art staff in action

Specialized Metro Art staff in action

The refreshed mural, one day following maintenance.

The refreshed mural, one day following maintenance.

5 replies

  1. SInce the artist who made the mural was no doubt paid by the MTA to have it displayed, I hope the ARTIST can be the one to have the needed “maintenance” on it paid for!

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  2. These MTA artworks “belong to” all of us MTA pasengers. I’m grateful for this mural every time I see it, so I’m happy to contribute part of my fares to these pieces of art – and to their maintenance.

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  3. How much money did this cost to taxpayers which would’ve been put to better use elsewhere? Does this thing do something other than just stare at me? Why couldn’t they put in a huge LED display so that it rotates between digital art, Metro information, and corporate ads? See, that way it does all three things! Art, provide useful information, and bring in extra money!

    Who makes these stupid decisions with our tax money?

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  4. Keep it up, sooner or later we’ll be seeing Dear Leader Antonio Villaraigosa posters and words praising the Juche philosophy.

    What is Metro’s fascination with art? If I want to see art, I would go to a museum. When I go to a station, I want some services that I would be happy to pay for! Like a decent bathroom. Or a place to get a haircut, have my shoes shined or eat a quick breakfast while I wait for the train.

    Metro, you are losing out on a ton of opportunity here. Why waste precious tax dollars on art when you could be making money?

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  5. Mary,

    Metro barely recovers less than 30% of its costs from fares. Over 70% of Metro’s operational costs has to be funded by taxpayers.

    Metro should not be spending precious tax dollars on artwork. There are much more important priorities our taxes could be better spent on. I would rather see these artwork fundng cut drastically and redirect more funds to fixing the problems that plague the Blue Line.

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