Old Glory On An Old Building

Old Glory On An Old Building

A new mural is going up in Arlington.

Washington Boulevard is getting a little more patriotic this week with the completion of a mural on the side of a prominent building.

The mural, a depiction of a waving American flag, was painted on the side of a building near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road near the Clarendon neighborhood.

The owner of the building, insurance agent G.J. Graham, said that she commissioned the mural to liven up her longtime office.

The eastern wall of the building, located at 3411 Washington Blvd., was initially planned to abut another building. But the other building was never constructed and, for the 12 years Graham has worked in the office, the wall remained a bare eyesore.

"It was an unattractive part of the building," she said, "[So] we thought ‘Why not take the nicest thing we have, the flag, and put it on the least attractive part of the building?’"

To paint the mural, Graham commissioned William Marquez, a professional painter who has been working on murals for the past five years. Marquez made a point to use bright, acrylic paint that won’t be affected by extreme weather and will shine brightly in the afternoon sun.

"It adds to the building and fits in with the area," he said.

Marquez’s handiwork is the newest edition to a stretch of Wilson Boulevard that has seen a flurry of murals pop up in recent years.

A wide-eyed tabby cat looks out at drivers from a building at 3471 Washington Boulevard and a solitary red rose dedicated to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks was painted on a building near the Clarendon Metro Station.

"This area is getting to be mural central," Marquez said.

"My staff and I have always enjoyed the other murals in the area," Graham said. "We just thought that was a nice touch to the community here. It’s not a boring drive that way."

As for her new mural, Graham said that she is glad she commissioned it. "We’re very happy with the results," she said.

Marquez said that the new American flag on Washington Boulevard will give more character to an already-distinctive neighborhood.

"It’s an instant landmark," he said.