Pershing Mural Removal Underway

For at least 65 years, visitors to the Pershing Center in Lincoln, NE, entered underneath an expansive 38-foot-by-140-foot mural. With demolition of the now out-of-use Pershing Center imminent, local artist and arts advocate Liz Shea-McCoy is leading the fundraising effort to save the historic mural.

Designed by Leonard Thiessen and Bill Hammond, the mural consists of more than 763,000 inch-square tiles in 40 shades/colors, constructed by the Cambridge Tile Company in Ohio. At the time of construction in the mid 1950’s, the mural was the largest work of its kind in the western hemisphere.

A fundraising campaign to save the mural was initiated on March 1, 2022, to raise a total of $3 million to cover the cost of removing, restoring and reinstalling the tiles. The first portion of the money has been raised and the removal of the tiles has begun.  Click here to watch a live feed of the progress. 

Fundraising is ongoing to cover the $2 million cost of restoring the mural.  Wonderful site options are being explored in Lincoln for the mural’s reinstallation, which will feature a closer-to-eye-level design approach, surrounded by a small plaza setting with seating, lighting and attractive landscaping.

The NSHSF is serving as a repository for donations received for the project. For more information or to get involved, contact:
 
Liz Shea McCoy
402-430-5923
 
“The Preservation Association of Lincoln supports efforts to save the mural on Pershing Center. For at least 56 years, Pershing Auditorium served Lincoln and the surrounding region as a center for numerous events in the entertainment, sports, and educational spheres. All of these events created many wonderful and lasting memories in the minds of Lincoln citizens and other attendees traveling to Lincoln just for those events. Clearly, the Pershing Center had become an important part of Lincoln’s cultural fabric. The mural is an integral part of the 'Pershing Experience.' It is worth saving.”
Eileen Bergt
President of Preservation Association of Lincoln

We are counting on support from this fundraising campaign to preserve this magnificent mural to be displayed for future generations of Nebraskans to enjoy. You can make a donation online at the secure links below, or by mailing to the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation (128 North 13th Street, Suite 1010, Lincoln, NE 68508), noting Pershing Mural Preservation Project in the ‘Memo’ line of the check.