The old Coca-Cola mural which has adorned the siding of the Greenville Army Navy Store at the corner of River and Main streets for decades will be removed and replaced as the building undergoes renovations.
The decision was approved by the City of Greenville during its monthly Design Review Board Urban Panel meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4.
The mural has long been an iconic feature of the West End and has become a popular spot for social media photos in recent years. It will be removed because the developers aim to patch and restore the stucco on the siding of the building, which cannot be done without removing the old mural, according to Rob Couch, a representative with McMillan Pazdan Smith, the architecture firm which submitted the plans on behalf of the developer.
“We recognize that having some kind of mural on River Street is important, because although that signage was not original to the 1940s, it still is historic in its own way,” Couch said, adding that the developers plan to create a new mural over the side of the building as quickly as possible.
The old Army Navy Store building was purchased in 2021 for $1.3 million from the Zaglin family, the longtime owners who had ran the store since the 1930s. During the sale, the new owner was listed as “660 S. Main Street QOZB” — the acronym standing for “Qualified Opportunity Zones Business,” a reference to the storefront’s location in an opportunity zone.
Because the Coca-Cola mural was not a part of the original building, it does not meet protection standards with regard to historical preservation. Adding a new and similar Coca-Cola mural after the siding of the building is patched and restored is also not allowed, given the city’s restrictions on new painted advertisements on the sides of buildings.
The old Army Navy sign that adorns the front of the building will remain even after renovations, in keeping with its historical value.
The developers have not yet confirmed what the new mural will be or when it will be installed.