PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - A blank wall in Punta Gorda will soon be a painter's canvas. Historic figure, George Brown will be the subject of the Punta Gorda Historic Society's latest project.
Brown was an accomplished businessman and community figure who called Punta Gorda home in the early 1900's.
"Just an overall nice person that unfortunately has never been recognized for the many contributions he made to the development of the area both economically and culturally," said Ron Norsell, President of the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society.
"He had a great deal of integrity and he operated that way. He hired people based on skill. He had no regard for race or color," said Norsell.
"He hired these people they worked side by side they were paid equal wages at a time when that was extraordinarily unusual," said local artist Sue Taylor.
For all of his accomplishments, property holdings and forward thinking on race relations, few people recognize brown as one of the community's prominent forefathers. That changed recently, when a group of people took a history class at Florida Gulf Coast University and rediscovered George Brown.
"When they finished that they decided they wanted to do something for the community. they did research they found george brown and brought his story to the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society," Taylor said.
Artist Michael Viers will paint the mural and it will stand in downtown Punta Gorda near the Old County Courthouse, facing Olympia Avenue.
"He happened to own the two plots of land on which the Old County Courthouse now sits," said Norsell.
"I think the murals create great charm but they also are our history. They are who we are," said Taylor.
The mural society hopes to be painting by late this year. The artwork will cost around $10,000 for both creation and preservation.
To help with this and other murals visit http://puntagordamurals.org