Edward Escandon Reveals Floorwall Mural Scale Model

Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who are persistent and believe in the worth of their hometown. For local businessman Edward Escandon, who has reignited interest and been spearheading the project and other Floodwall Steering Committee members, the latter is now their reality.

The Parkersburg floodwall, a structure that has stood strong against the rising rivers surrounding the area for over 70 year is set to get some extra attention in the coming months. Serving as the canvas, the floodwall will tell the story of the city and the state through mural art. The Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Committee is launching a major awareness and fund-raising effort to get the first section of a floodwall mural completed this summer.

“The idea is to take this big, empty space and turn it into something that will draw people to the city and also make it something that local residents can be proud of,” Escandon said.

Phase One will begin this summer and the portion of the floodwall that is adjacent to the Riverfront Amphitheater is up first. It will measure 160 feet from end to end and will depict the hills and mountains of West Virginia, catching the first rays of morning light.

The floodwall mural will be a big visual reminder that this is a cool place and this is a town worth a visit.

“When you are proud of your hometown you are going to invite more people to visit and see what your area has to offer. This is going to be one more big thing that will help build this as a destination. We have so much here to be proud of. I love taking people to the Oil and Gas Museum, Blennerhassett Island, Blennerhassett Museum, to the Art Center, Fort Boreman Hill Park and plays at the Actors Guild.  In downtown Parkersburg we have the best restaurants around. Such variety with Chams, Unity, Gyro King, Mangos, Blenny, 3rd Street Deli, Crystal and Corner Cafes. The floodwall mural will be a big visual reminder that this is a cool place and this is a town worth a visit,” said Jessie Siefert, Managing Director for The Parkersburg Art Center and Steering Committee member.

Local artist Christopher Santer and Escandon plan to turn more than 1000 feet of floodwall into the panoramic tourist attraction. Additionally, the committee hopes that the art will make an opportune background for the concerts and events that take place at The Point. For those crossing back into West Virginia from Ohio, they’ll be greeted by a large “welcome home” sign on the mural as well.

Appropriately, another section of the floodwall will be adorned with the sheet music to John Denver’s Country Roads. Moving down the wall, hills and mountains will slowly give way to representations of the Sixth Street train station’s girders and piers which date to the Civil War. The spaces in between the piers will tell the stories of well-known places, events, and people in Parkersburg’s history. 

Left to right: Senta Goudy, Edward Escandon, Jessie Siefert, and Wendy Shriver

“I love the community involvement aspect of this project.  We will be inviting students and others to help paint the mural and to design the panels,” said Senta Goudy, Dean of Civic Engagement and Innovation at WVU Parkersburg and Steering Committee member.

 For those curious about what the final project will look like, an 18 foot scale model will be on display in Grand Central Mall within a couple of weeks. To learn more about the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project and how you can make it a reality, you can go to the Parkersburg Floodwall Mural Project page on Facebook or visit their website.