The Terminal Arcade building in Terre Haute receives a mural | Local News

The east wall of the Terminal Arcade building in downtown Terre Haute will soon have a unique mural.

It is painted by Terre Haute artist Becky Hochhalter.

“I’ve had my eye on this wall for at least five years. This mural project has been in the works for some time, almost two years. I’m thrilled to finally leave my mark there,” said artist Becky Hochhalter.

At approximately 24 feet tall and 100 feet wide, it will be the largest mural to date by Hochhalter, which has already painted more than 30 outdoor public murals in addition to other works of public art.

She worked in the evenings to use a projector to trace her design on the side of the Terminal Arcade building at Ninth Street and Wabash Avenue and traced about a third of the design.

“I’m not divulging the full design, but I will let people take this journey with me and be amazed as it unfolds,” Hochhalter said.

However, the design has several historical references to Terre Haute, she said.

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. GarzaLeaving her mark on a downtown landmark: Artist Becky Hochhalter peeks out against the wall of the Terminal Arcade building as she works on one of her latest murals on Saturday on Wabash Ave.

“This design is very involved. There is a lot of Terre Haute in this mural. I think if I can pull it off it will be kind of an epic mural,” she said. “There will be things from Terre Haute that are here right now and things from Terre Haute that no longer exist and maybe people from Terre Haute, so there will be a lot of interesting things.”

Hochhalter intends to paint using the artistic technique of “trompe l’oeil” which creates a three-dimensional optical illusion.

“Looks like you can get in there,” she said. “I want the things in the foreground to be life-size so you can really feel like you’re part of this mural.”

The new mural is also close to the new downtown convention center.

“I would love to see downtown and Terre Haute in general become a kind of public art destination,” Hochhalter said. “We already have so much public art in Terre Haute and I would really like to see it become a place where people want to come and see all of our public art and spend the day.”

Hochhalter is also currently working on a mural in Paris, Illinois, and has two more murals to paint – one at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a second at A&B Farms in Brazil.

The last two murals are funded by a state program.

In May, the Indiana Destination Development Corp. awarded nearly $250,000 to fund 49 public art projects across the state. Unmatched grants of up to $5,000 have been awarded to groups across the state for a public art project.

“The selected projects were based on location and visibility to Indiana residents and visitors,” said Elaine Bedel, IDDC’s chief executive, in a grant release. “The hope is to create photo opportunities while promoting Indiana.”

IDDC projects must be completed by the end of October.

For the Terminal Arcade, Hochhalter said its completion is weather dependent, but expects it to take eight weeks to complete.

The Terminal Arcade has a long history in the city. It was designed by Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago and originally served as the Terre Haute, Indianapolis, and Eastern Traction Company intercity station. It opened in 1911.

The Beaux-Arts (fine arts) architectural style building is constructed of terracotta and brick with two identical facades made of limestone and granite on its north and south sides. The facades are the work of Fred Edler and JW Quayle. The architectural style is characterized by a flat roof, arched windows, pedimented entrances, symmetry and sculptural details.

The terminal closed on January 11, 1940 when intercity lanes were closed.

From December 1, 1949 to 1972, it was the location of the Terre Haute bus station. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1983. It has been privately owned since 1995, formerly serving as a restaurant/bar. The current owner is Fontanet Holdings Inc., a company owned by Terre Haute businessman Gregory L. Gibson.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter @TribStarHoward.

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