Several colorful murals painted by local artists will be vanishing with the demolition of the Water Street parking ramp in downtown Binghamton.

The murals helped to brighten the otherwise grim-looking facility that opened in 1970.

Peg Johnston, who was one of those who worked on the murals, said the Department of Public Art developed the project after learning of the important industrial history of the block where the garage stood.

Photo: Peg Johnston
Photo: Peg Johnston
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Johnston noted the murals were centered around the theme that the region is the "Birthplace of Virtual Reality." They included depictions of a Bundy time recording clock and the Link flight simulation "blue box."

Icons representing the American Dance Asylum, which staged events in the garage, also were painted on different levels of the parking facility.

Photo: Peg Johnston
Photo: Peg Johnston
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Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Johnston said different logos also were painted to designate the different levels of the garage to help people find their parked vehicles.

Johnston said the artists know "that a mural is not forever." The public art by its very nature is going to be viewable for a limited time because it could get covered over, affected by the weather or other factors.

Photo: Peg Johnston
Photo: Peg Johnston
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Johnston said "it's sad that we're losing these because they're pretty cool... but maybe we'll do it again."

A new parking garage is to be built this year on the site of the old structure.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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