OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) One of Owensboro’s most famous landmarks is almost ready to debut its new look.
The Kentucky Mirror Mosaic near the Blue Bridge is close to completion.
The mirror pieces have been put on the outside wall of the Frantz Building Services building the past three years. Gary Bielefeld, who built the first mosaic, estimates 95% of the mosaic is restored.
“It’s been cold too, but it hasn’t been as hot as it is right now,” Bielefeld said, describing what the weather’s been like during its restoration.
Through the heat and snow, Bielefeld has put an estimated two tons of new mirror pieces up, piece by piece, with each region given differently shaped pieces.
“Down there we have the eastern coalfields. Behind me we have the Jackson Purchase. Right here, where Owensboro is, we have the western coalfields,” he described.
“I think it looks great. I just like the way it shines. I know once they get it completed, everybody will be happy with it,” added Don Clark of Owensboro.
Mirror pieces still have to be added on areas representing the Jackson Purchase area of western Kentucky, and the northernmost part of northern Kentucky. He’s restoring the mosaic, which he first made more than 40 years ago, after pieces started falling off.
“The glue had a chemical reaction with the silver on the mirrors, and the mirrors started to drop off the walls,” Bielefeld explained. “That wasn’t exactly the kind of tourist attraction that we wanted.”
Bielefeld says he plans on adding lighting near the mural and restoration could finish as soon as next month. He adds people aren’t waiting for its return.
“I hope they enjoy it. We’ve already got people, wedding, senior pictures, motorcycle guys taking pictures of their bikes in front of it,” he said.
(This story was originally published on July 20, 2022)