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Dam’s bicentennial mural too degraded for historic listing

March 6, 2019
FILE - This Jan. 14, 2005 file photo shows Prado Dam with its bicentennial mural at a time when crews were working to close a breach in the dam, at left, due to heavy rains in Corona, Calif. The Army Corps of Engineers says the huge mural painted on the Southern California dam for the nation's bicentennial is ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Corps said Tuesday, March 5, 2019 that the keeper of the register determined the mural on the spillway of Prado Dam had lost physical integrity and is no longer able to convey its historic character or significance. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

CORONA, Calif. (AP) — The Army Corps of Engineers says a huge mural painted on a Southern California dam for the nation’s bicentennial is ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Corps said Tuesday the keeper of the register determined the mural on the spillway of Prado Dam had lost physical integrity and is no longer able to convey its historic character or significance.

The mural completed by high schoolers in 1976 shows the phrase “200 YEARS OF FREEDOM,” a Liberty Bell silhouette, and the dates “1776-1976.”

The mural was assessed for the register after the Corps announced plans to remove it due to presence of lead paint.

The keeper of the register found that loss of original paint, massive overpainting and graffiti severely altered its design and intent.