Iconic mural on Sixth Avenue may be removed

'America's Finest City' mural erected in 1989

SAN DIEGO - An iconic mural on Sixth Avenue in downtown San Diego has stood the test of time for 25 years, but its time may be running out.  

The paint on the "America's Finest City" mural is deteriorating to the point where the property owner of the building has posted a notice of intent to remove it.  

"Having notified the original artist, we both agreed that restoration is not a feasible option and removing intact is next to impossible," Rob Adatto of Cethron Property Management wrote in an email to 10News.  

Kathleen King was commissioned to paint the mural, which was completed in 1989.

"It's very political," she said in a phone conversation from Greenville, S.C., where she is involved in another work of public art.  

"What that is about is, OK, if you're going to call yourself 'America's Finest City,' live up to it," King said.

Former San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson is credited with coming up with the slogan after the city was snubbed to host 1972 GOP national convention, which went to Miami.  

The mural was paid for with private funds.  

Adatto said no reasonable alternatives to taking it down have come to light and that the paint will not withstand much more exposure to the elements.  

While King said she would like to see it restored, she admits doing so would be expensive.

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