Bethesda Murals: Old and New

Bethesda mural

Anyone who has ventured into the interesting and diverse DC neighborhoods of Mount Pleasant and Adams Morgan will be familiar with the murals depicting all manner of life and history within those areas.  But many people who visit Bethesda may not be aware that we also have some fantastic murals in our equally-awesome little town.

The one above depicting a traditional looking American steam train is perhaps the most prominent.  Despite being located on a lane behind the main drag, it is nevertheless noticable as you wander past – not least because of its impressive size!

It’s location seems obvious enough, very close to the Capital Crescent Trail, once a branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but it wasn’t until I decided to do some digging that I had any idea whatsoever about its history.  Not surprisingly called the “Bethesda Train”, the mural, on Bethesda Road, was produced in collaboration with Jerry, Pat, Bryan and Cory Deere of Deere Signs of Clinton, Md.

The 34′ x 74′ mural was created according to the design of Chip Gestiehr at Good Dog Creative located in Bethesda.  It was painted with Duron exterrior acrylic enamels over the course of approximately two weeks.  Big thanks to Daybreak Studios for this info, where you can also view a series of photos showing the creative stages of the project.

I immediately thought of the Bethesda Train while walking down Woodmont Avenue before the snow came 10 days or so ago, and spotting a new (brick wall) mural in the process of being painted on the side of the building for lease.

new mural

It’s not quite on the scale of the Bethesda Train, and I suspect it is covered by snow at the current time, but nevertheless an interesting addition to the area, and a great way of adding some flare to a dull beige wall.  Does anyone have any idea of the story behind this one?  I wonder if it is primarily to attract attention and entice potential occupiers to the premises?  We’ll post more of the finished product once the snow clears away!


7 Responses to Bethesda Murals: Old and New

  1. Jamie Holts says:

    I discovered your homepage by coincidence.
    Very interesting posts and well written.
    I will put your site on my blogroll.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks a lot for your comments, Jamie. I’m delighted you like the site. Are you a Bethesda native/resident? Stop by again soon!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    My son loves that train mural, we always go out of our way to walk by.

  4. […] Bethesda Murals: Old and New […]

  5. Chip Gestiehr says:

    Hi Tom,
    This is Chip Gestiehr – designer of the Big Train Mural. I appreciate the shout out. I did this mural back in 2000, and wondered to myself every time I would go by it if someone else besides me and my kids ever noticed it. It makes me feel good that someone did – Thanks!

  6. Tom says:

    Hey Chip, thanks a lot for your comment and letting us know who’s behind the Big Train Mural! I absolutely love it and think it adds a lot of character and uniqueness to the place. Are there any more in the pipeline?

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