Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Councilwoman Michele Johnson, Councilman Louis Imbroto, State Assemblyman Michael Montesano, and County Legislator Rose Marie Walker, Lionel Chitty, Executive Director of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Rose, representing Seritage, the future developer of the former Sears property in Hicksville, joined today with members of the community to celebrate the return of the G. Hunter Jones mural to Hicksville. The historic mural, which was located on the wall of the former Hicksville Sears store since the 1960s, was successfully removed, preserved and relocated to the Town of Oyster Bay Hicksville Athletic Center.
Supervisor Saladino said, “This beautiful piece of art has great meaning to our community. When Sears announced it was closing its doors last spring, the fate of this important piece of our history was in jeopardy. We joined together with concerned members of our community and successfully ensured its preservation.”
Earlier this year, Seritage Growth Properties, future developer of the former Sears property, funded a feasibility study to determine how the mural can best be saved and preserved. The oil-painted mural depicts a historical map of Long Island along with portraits of famous residents, such as Walt Whitman, Henry Hudson, John Roebling, Peter Stuyvesant, John Underhill and Theodore Roosevelt. The work also includes a detailed map of Long Island and a timeline of importantly significant dates and events. G. Hunter Jones, a prolific Manhattan-based artist, spent nearly two decades traveling the nation to localize the sprawling department stores with his oil paintings.
Councilwoman Johnson stated, “When the opportunity to preserve history presents itself, you have to take definitive action. You may not get a second chance. We studied several potential locations in the Town and the local community to relocate the mural. I am so pleased we were able to keep it right in the heart of the Town of Oyster Bay in Hicksville, down the road from its original location.”
Assemblyman Montesano said, “I’m glad to see all levels of government working together to find a suitable location where it can remain on display for generations to come. This important piece of history belongs in the Town and the Hicksville Athletic Center is a great place for children and residents of all ages to enjoy its historic significance.”
Legislator Walker added, “Over the years, this mural had become very important to the fabric of the community. Many residents expressed their emotional attachment to the piece, equating it with decades of shopping with their families in a landmark destination.”
Councilman Imbroto said, “This mural is a piece of our Town’s history and has great meaning to the Hicksville community. I am so thankful our combined efforts ensured this mural’s preservation for generations to come and that it was able to remain here in the Town of Oyster Bay.”