San Angelo Army Air Field Mural and the Historical Murals of San Angelo
This mural depicts the history of San Angelo Army Air Field and is one of fourteen murals that are part of the Historic Murals of San Angelo project. The project dates back to 1997, when founder Susan Morris moved to San Angelo from Louisiana and discovered that the downtown area was in dire need of revitalization. This mural was completed in 2012 and shows the origins of San Angelo Army Air Field as a World War II training base for pilots and air crews to Goodfellow Air Force Base and its modern mission of training firefighters, linguists, and military intelligence personnel.
Backstory and Context
Through fund-raising efforts and extensive historic research, Morris and Historic Murals of San Angelo now boasts around 14 historic mural projects, and the numbers are continuing to grow as tourists and locals have seen the downtown area vibrantly revitalized. In essence, these murals represent the frontier lifestyle inherent to the San Angelo and Texas identity.
The permanent murals scattered throughout the downtown area include the Blacksmith Mural, Chadbourne Street Mural, West Texas Ranching Mural, Old Household Furniture Store Windows Mural, several Military Murals, and others. Furthermore, the Historic Murals of San Angelo endures as the only mural project in the United States that features both light and sound 24/7. At night, many of the murals come alive with beautiful outdoor lighting, while the public can always access free recorded information regarding the construction of the mural and the history it represents.
The mission of the Historic Murals of San Angelo project is to showcase the history-rich legacy of the West Texas forefathers to both current and future populations, and because of the intricate artistic skill used on each mural the sheer power of the images, Historic Murals of San Angelo has won the prestigious Best of San Angelo Award in 2014 as well as the Spirit of San Angelo Award.2
Murals of San Angelo
Although many tourists say that these murals offer ideal photographic and historic opportunities, tourists still have to locate the murals. Fortunately, because of their easy-to-see locations throughout the downtown area and the availability of detailed maps, most tourists discover these murals as they go about their day-to-day activities.
The most popular mural is the Chadbourne Street Mural, located on the corner of South Chadbourne and West Concho. This mural showcases precise and historically accurate details regarding the street in 1908, including everything from the businesses and buildings inhabiting the area, early automobiles, a street car, and streets paved with blocks of wood. Therefore, the Chadbourne Street Mural offers views the unique chance to visualize the area both now and then.3
Each of the other 13 (and counting) murals in the city feature a similar disposition, with a historically accurate and beautiful image showcasing a different nuance of the early city and the West Texas identity.