Save the Painted Bride Mural

Since the spring of 2018, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens has been advocating to save Isaiah Zagar’s 7,000 square foot public mosaic at the Painted Bride site (230 Vine Street). Due to the many ups and downs of this story, we have begun compiling resources and articles here for archival purposes and for easy public access. It will be updated with information as we receive it.

In January 2021, the Atrium Design Group submitted a proposal to the Philadelphia Zoning Board to build a 7 story apartment building that will preserve the mural in its entirety, and purchased the building in April 2022. The design was approved, but was appealed by a small group of neighbors. That appeal was granted in June 2022 by a judge, who reversed the approval of the design. The fate of the mural is currently in question.

View Atrium Design Group’s proposal for the Painted Bride Building

Articles/ News:

Michaelle Bond, “A Philly judge reversed a zoning board decision to allow apartments atop the Painted Bride mosaic” Philadelphia Inquirer (6.22.22)

Michaelle Bond, “The Painted Bride Art Center has sold with its signature mosaic intact” Philadelphia Inquirer (4.6.22)

Michaelle Bond, “Painted Bride mosaics saved with Philly’s approval of new apartment building” Philadelphia Inquirer (8.25.21)

Ryan Briggs, “Painted Bride development wins zoning approval that could save Zagar mural” WHYY (8.25.21)

Michaelle Bond, “Fate of the Painted Bride’s mosaic remains uncertain as developer pursues zoning exceptions,” Philadelphia Inquirer (6.23.21)

Hilary Jay, “NIMBYS, Zoning, and Much Ado about the Painted Bride Mural,” Hidden City (4.20.21)

Video Presentation: Zagar’s Mosaics: Painted Bride, Preservation and Adaptive Reuse (3.21)

Inga Saffron, “This Developer has a plan to save the Painted Bride Mosaic. The neighborhood wants to stop him” Philadelphia Inquirer (1.15.21)

Stephan Salisbury, “Potential Sale of Painted Bride Building Back in Court,” Philadelphia Inquirer (9.17.20)

Jake Blumgart, ” Judge: Old City’s Painted Bride can’t be sold for condos” WHYY (9.26.19)

Anna Merriman, “Condo development planned for site of iconic Painted Bride building” Curbed Philly (9.9.19)

Jake Blumgart, “16 Condos could replace Painted Bride, Philadelphia’s oldest alternative art space” WHYY (9.4.19)

Anna Merriman, “Iconic Painted Bride building fails to secure historic designation” Curbed Philly (9.14.18)

Jimmy Clark, “Opinion: Painted Bride board’s plan to sell building is ‘organizational suicide'” Philadelphia Inquirer (6.25.18)

Stephan Salisbury, “Painted Bride and its Zagar murals deserve historic designation, panel finds” Philadelphia Inquirer (6.20.18)

View the nomination form for the Painted Bride Building for the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, Philadelphia Historical Commission (2018)