Save the Arcade Building

Although you may not think by looking at it, the Arcade Building in downtown Riverside is one of the oldest buildings in Illinois. It was built in 1871. Unfortunately, many now look upon the historic building as an “eyesore” and it is on Illinois’ “10 Most Endangered Historic Places” list. With a long list of violations, the boarded up windows are the most visible offense.

Because of recent concerns that the landmark building will be torn down, the village of Riverside contacted Riverside Brookfield High School. RB’s drawing and painting classes have joined forces with the school’s art club and are now planning to help restore some of the original beauty of the old Arcade Building. Starting on October 19, the students will begin their work by starting to paint a very large mural on the side of the building.

Right now, the group of RB artists is assigning leaders to be in charge of the different groups.

“I wanted to help the community,” said freshman Megan Kennedy on her involvement, “It will raise awareness of the building.”

The theme of the mural is “This Place Matters”. The mural will consist of more than 15 panels, the artists of RB will be designing what goes on each one of them. The panels will be split up into the four seasons beginning with winter and finishing with fall.

“We have a lot of freedom with the detail, but we have to make sure they flow throughout the whole piece,” said participating freshman, Stephanie Wolff.

Although the students will be designing it, anyone is invited to help. Leading this imposing project is Fine Arts Department Chair, Jon Grice. “We want volunteers to help us,” said Grice, “Students can help by joining art club, but anyone can help paint the panels”.

Grice has also contacted several Junior High students. He is currently trying to get these students involved with painting the murals. As of right now, the artists are going to need all of the help they can get.

“The mural will make the Arcade Building intriguing to people that aren’t brought in by the historical aspect,” said Wolff.

So if you feel inspired to help beautify a historical landmark, join art club, or volunteer your time to be a part of this project and help save the Arcade Building.