On Saturday 10/21/17 about 35 community members gathered at the Ardmore Wawa to celebrate the rededication of the murals of the original Ardmore train station, painted by North Ardmore resident Alice Dustin. Former North Ardmore Civic Association president Gary Steinberg spoke (very eloquently!) of the history of the original installation and of Wawa’s continued good will. The murals were originally on the front of the building in the recesses that replaced the former hobby shop windows. These were installed the week of 9/11 and so they hold a special place in our hearts when we could come together as a community at that troubled time. The murals now grace the wall facing Woodside Road. They were saved by Wawa’s construction manager John Stauffer who re-installed them this July. There were several modifications made as a door was carved into one of the murals and a slightly damaged part was cut away and redone, plus a small addition was needed to fill the space.
The murals were originally painted in Alice Dustin’s basement on scaffolding that Gary Steinberg had built for her. On this re-installation, some of the work was done by Alice on a ladder on the wall and doors. She added some trompe l’oeil stonework to camouflage a white door that interrupted the stone wall on one side. Alice spoke at the unveiling ceremony and told how it was that she came to be the artist. The year prior to Gary’s vision for this joint effort between the civic association and Wawa, Alice was secretary of the North Ardmore Civic Association and instead of taking notes at one of our monthly meetings, she was doing caricatures of the speakers. Gary, sitting next to Alice, was amused by her sketching and asked her the following year to present paintings to the civic association for approval for the murals he envisioned to decorate the empty walls. As Alice gathered the paintings (7″ by 12″ as compared to the 7 feet by 12 and 13 feet of the murals) she realized that these paintings represented the 87th and 89th paintings she had done up to that point. Alice has now reached well over 2,000 paintings, amazed at herself for her confidence in undertaking the project! Hope Shannon, the manager of Wawa, also spoke at our unveiling ceremony. Wawa not only has been a great support to our efforts, but also provided all the refreshments for the gathering.