HAMILTON HEIGHTS — Tile by tile, a local art nonprofit has been restoring a decade-old mosaic at a playground on 138th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
“It was filled with graffiti,” she said of the 215-foot-long wall. “People from all over the neighborhood came to help out. It transformed the community, when you see a beautiful wall like that you can’t leave trash in the park.”
The mural is made up of different faces looking at windows that show global scenes such as Stonehenge, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Egyptian pyramids.
When it was created, the “Peace Wall” was among the first CITYarts projects in the Young Minds Build Bridges Program, which was conceived to connect children from all over the world through art.
“Now we have many,” Ben-Haim said. “We are working on one in Brazil. We have one in Pakistan, Israel, London and Berlin.”
Over the past decade, the elements have taken a toll on the mural. Water and snow damage have left bare patches along the top of the wall. When it rains, water seeps into the wall and has loosened some of the tiles in the middle, Ben-Haim added.
The organization started restoring the mural last summer. They have been holding restoration events over the spring and summer with corporate, school and children’s groups around the city, said project manager Eliana Blechman.
On Wednesday, a group of volunteers from Guggenheim Partners helped add new tiles to the mural.
“It’s an ongoing restoration,” Blechman said. “That’s the thing about working with tile, you have to be patient. One of the positives is that it keeps the mural alive, each part of the restoration brings more people.”