Demolition has begun on the Austin Lawrence property that once held Durham’s iconic “Green Wall” as well as being, more importantly, the site of Woolworth’s Drug Store and an important civil rights action. Deconstruction has consigned Matthew Currin’s and Derek Toomes’ terrific mural to memory.
It did reveal a fascinating piece of art in the former Mr. Shoe location.
This space, after a fire in the adjacent Parrish Street addresses in 2001, was largely abandoned.
Our sources say that the subsequently closed and abandoned Mr. Shoe building became an artists’ studio and collective work space some time in the early 2000. There was no central air or good ventilation, so it was swelteringly hot during the Summers.
When the Green Wall came tumbling down we discovered this amazing relic (also now demolished).
Our sources speculate this painting was done by an artist from Chicago who was part of the studio collective when nights inside the loop were pretty quiet. (Save for Ringside.)
If you know more about this story, the artist, the piece, the studio space, and/or Mr. Shoe, we’d love to hear it.
If you are looking for an update on the tear down, we got these photos from an elevated angle today.