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Mokena’s Lincoln Highway mural to be unveiled

Engineer Joe Marshall (left) artist Jay Allen (right) with ShawCraft Sign Co. install new Lincoln Highway mural 11100 block Front

Engineer Joe Marshall (left) and artist Jay Allen (right), with ShawCraft Sign Co., install a new Lincoln Highway mural in the 11100 block of Front St. Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in Mokena. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 2, 2013 6:19AM



The latest in the series of Lincoln Highway murals is to be unveiled at 11 a.m. Saturday in downtown Mokena.

The mural, installed at 11104 Front St., depicts a tractor in front of the Cooper and Hostert Garage, which was owned by brothers-in-law Barney Hostert and Elmer Cooper, according to the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It was the first Ford agency in the area to sell Ford cars, trucks and tractors. Henry Ford personally signed their dealership contract, the bureau said.

The Cooper and Hostert Garage opened in 1916 and also sold gas and repaired motor vehicles, remaining in business until the early 1970s.

This is the 30th of the 35 planned murals being installed by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition along or near the 179-mile route.

It will be the eighth mural in the Southland. Others have been installed in New Lenox, Frankfort, Matteson, Park Forest, University Park, Lynwood and Sauk Village. One soon will be completed in Chicago Heights.

While most are located along Lincoln Highway, they also may be featured in other highly visible locations in the Lincoln Highway Corridor. Many towns have opted to place murals in historic downtowns instead of along the highway, convention and visitors bureau spokesman Scott Bort said.

Each mural is hand-painted by Jay Allen and valued at $10,000.

Upon completion, the 35-mural series will be one of the largest works of public art in the country, according to the bureau. It was financed through a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Grant.

Allen’s murals recently won first place in a contest by Signs of the Times magazine, in the murals/exhibit graphics category. They also were selected as a contestant in the magazine’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Voting is open to the public and will conclude Feb. 8.

Votes can be cast once per computer by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8DV5THL.

The Lincoln Highway murals are in the non-electric commercial sign category.

Staff reports



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