Recklein Auditorium Gets Facelift in July, 2017
The City of Cuba invited Viva Cuba, Cuba’s community beautification group, to submit ideas on completing the exterior renovation of Recklein Auditorium. A committee formed, and after three months of exchanging ideas, committee members submitted their vision to the city council.
The group wanted to salute the history of the 1922 Recklein Auditorium, originally built as a high school auditorium.
Viva Cuba members contacted Missouri artist Ray Harvey. Harvey created a plan utilizing a trompe l’oeil look. Trompe l’oeil gives the illusion of the eye perceiving painted detail as a three-dimensional object. Workers covered the original windows at some point. The painting restores them.
Harvey is not new to painting in the Cuba area. Some of his area paintings are the Bette Davis mural on the Cuba Free Press, the murals on the vintage Route 66 station at the Four-Way, transportation murals at Midwest Travel Plaza,Victorian Manor Murals, and murals for the Catholic Church. He also painted Christmas Over Route 66: Cuba Missouri. To see more work by Ray Harvey, visit Ray Harvey Art.
Harvey lives in New Haven, Missouri, but he paints multi-state projects and is well-know nto the St. Louis, Missouri art world. Cuba is pleased to have an artist of his caliber working on this project.
Viva Cuba Members asked Harvey for ideas and sketches, and after many revisions, he created the final sketch. It was presented to the Mayor and the city council and approved. Harvey’s work will include the east and south sides of Recklein.
Harvey will be using Keim paint, a long-lasting paint from Germany. Examples of other buildings that have used Keim: The murals on Sheridan Hotel in downtown STL and the flood wall in Cape Girardeau, MO. Some buildings painted in Keim paint in Europe are still in excellent condition after 100 years.
The city will power-wash the building and repair cracks before Harvey’s arrival on July 5. He plans to complete the job in two weeks.
Viva Cuba will install a bronze plaque detailing the building’s history on the exterior of the building.
The Recklein face-lift will further enhance Cuba’s status as Route 66 Mural City. The Recklein Commons area contains the Senior Center, History Museum, the Recklein Memorial Library,and the Veterans Memorial. It is a frequented area, especially during Cuba Fest, the third weekend of October.
Generations of Cuba citizens utilized the school auditorium and later attended many events at Recklein. The history of this building is important to Cuba’s educational, cultural, and social history. Viva Cuba enjoyed assisting the city on this project.
See more History of the Recklein Commons area: