The World’s Longest Mural
The city of Pueblo (population 102,000) is located in the high desert, at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek. What started as a fort expanded into ‘Steel City,’ one of the nation’s top producers of the metal, until financial crashes, bankruptcies and labor strikes took their toll.
Pueblo is now known for ‘sloppers,’ a cheeseburger covered in red or green chile and topped with diced onions. Its other main attraction is the River Walk.
For many years, the river and the town were fighting for real estate. After a series of floods, culminating in the loss of a third of the downtown in 1921, an aqueduct was created to divert water away from the heart of the city. Artists have taken to covering the walls of this 65-foot tall levee with murals. At over three and half miles long, it’s the world’s largest outdoor art project.
The mural began in the mid-1970s, as a place for graffiti artists to gather. The first true mural was hand-painted by the ‘Tee Hee’ group near the Fourth Street Bridge. Check out the fish. Other subjects include: Elvis, human body parts, the Hard Rock Café logo, dragons, geometric shapes, Bob Marley and some designs that will leave you guessing.
This free-style public art spawned the Art & Soul Pueblo Street Gallery. Bronze and metal sculptures – some hand painted – are sprinkled about the town. They are displayed for one year and most are up for sale.
If you need a rest after all this art, we suggest Solar Roast Coffee. There’s a mobile unit, but for the café visit 226 N. Main St. Besides good coffee, they offer crisp salads, smoothies, bagel sandwiches and quiche. We recommend the New Yorker!
Two paws! The river? Great place for walkies. The cafe? Not so much.
Lane & Juliet
The writing and photography team behind Southwest Compass, the travel blog for the American Southwest.