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Restoring Adams Morgan's Mural To Latino Community

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"A People without Murals is a Demuralized People" is being restored after earthquake damage in 2011.
Ashley Dejean/WAMU
"A People without Murals is a Demuralized People" is being restored after earthquake damage in 2011.
Juan Pineda restored this mural in Adams Morgan years ago, and he's set out to do it again. (Ashley Dejean/WAMU)

Unsightly patches of cement covering a historic mural in Adams Morgan the past two years are disappearing.

If you walk by the Kogibow Bakery on Adams Mill Road Northwest, you might see Juan Pineda painting one of the walls.

"It's a very important mural to be restored, because every city has a story and this was the way it was documented in the late '70s," Pineda says.

The artwork is called "A People without Murals is a Demuralized People" and depicts the Latino community that lived in Adams Morgan at the time. In a scene out of the 1970s, kids run around on the street, musicians play their instruments and a couple dances, but Pineda says there's a more ominous foreshadowing.

"You've got realtors, investors basically playing monopoly with people's homes," he says.

While higher rents shook peoples' lives, the earthquake in 2011 cracked the mural's wall. It had to be patched with cement to keep water from leaking into the bakery. When Pineda saw the damage, it hurt. He had restored the mural just a few years before. Fortunately, he took pictures of that first restoration. Without them, it would be difficult to recreate some of the scenes, especially the couple dancing.

"One of them is completely gone," he says. "If I didn't have those images that I took in 2005 I wouldn't know where to begin to be honest with you."

Pineda hopes to be done repainting the mural by the end of the week.

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