There are plenty of old buildings all over the country. Many of these buildings have been standing for centuries, but over the years, they have been renovated time and time again. The final result is the building’s history being destroyed. Sure, the structure is the same, but the floors, ceilings, walls, and fixtures have all been changed, with little or no memory of what the building once was. There are times, however, when a small piece of the past shows up, astonishing the owners.
Providence, Rhode Island
Many of the buildings in Providence, Rhode Island, have been standing for over 100 years. Like most old buildings, much of these old building’s histories are long gone. Two restaurateurs, Chris Spertini and Greg Costantino, purchased the 19th-century building on Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island. They bought the building so that they could realize their dream of owning their own restaurant. It was going to be an Italian restaurant called Maria’s Cucina. The building is an elegant three-story building that was built in 1897. When it was first built, the building was home to the Italo-American Club. The club in the building that Greg and Chris bought is said to be the oldest club of its kind in the country. The interior structure of the building was gorgeous, with a magnificent foyer and high ceilings. When Chris and Greg bought the building, they knew that it had great bones. All they needed to do was hire a good decorator to bring it back to life. The building had been empty for years, and the previous owners didn’t put too much care into the property. Before they could even think about opening the restaurant, they knew that they would need to put a lot of work into it.
Chris and Greg were often in the building while the work inside was being done. They wanted to be sure that everything was perfect and going according to schedule. The walls were covered with a horrible, dated wallpaper, so the two men asked the workers to strip it away. After the first few seconds of the wallpaper removal, they realized that there was more than one layer of wallpaper. There were three layers that needed to be scraped off, which was going to prove to be very time-consuming. The man stood by while the men were working when Chris suddenly told them to stop what they were doing. He saw something unexpected that he didn’t want to see destroyed.
When one of the workers got past the third layer of wallpaper, Chris saw a piece of the mural. It was hand-painted, and from what they could see, it looked like it was a painting of Roman and Greek ruins. As soon as Greg and Chris realized what was hidden beneath the wallpaper, they told the crew that they couldn’t use metal scrapers to remove the wallpaper. They knew that metal would destroy the mural. They told the workers that they would have to use rubber scrapers and to be as careful as possible when removing the wallpaper. The murals were very old, and they had to be treated very carefully.
Restoring the Mural
When all of the wallpaper was removed, Chris and Greg were able to get a good look at the whole mural. They couldn’t believe how incredible it was. They also couldn’t believe that they could have destroyed it. While the mural was still in pretty good condition, there were some areas that had worn over time. Other areas had been slightly damaged during the wallpaper removal. Chris and Greg wanted the walls of their restaurant to look great, but they also didn’t want to cover up the incredible artwork. Fortunately, they had a friend who could help.
The man in question was George LaSalle. He was an old friend of Chris and Greg, and he also happened to be an accomplished artist. When they asked George to take on the project, he was thrilled. He believed that whoever created the original mural must have been very proud of their work. He wanted to try to restore the mural so that it would look as if nobody ever touched it. Retouching the mural was a very complex and delicate job. When he was done, the mural looked perfect. George managed to hold onto the mural’s old-world charm, and every detail was perfect. Chris and Greg were thrilled with the final product. When decorators peeled back the wallpaper in a restaurant, they were met with a startling sight. Fortunately, they caught it early, and the mural was successfully restored.
Today, the restaurant is very popular. People travel from all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut to dine there. The authentic Italian food served there is fantastic, and thanks to the the mural, many people say that it is the old-world charm that keeps them coming back.