WINSTED -- The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the renovation of two buildings that will house an area woman's dream.
Ten years ago, Ellen Griesendieck, of Sharon, was painting pictures of Americans working different types of jobs. From these came the idea of combining her work into a single painting, and that idea grew into what will be the American Mural Project.
When finished, it will be 120 feet long and five stories high. It will be constructed from various materials, including honeycomb, aluminum panels, fiberglass, ceramic tiles, blown glass, marble and fabric.
The project will be housed at 210 Holabird Ave. in two former factory buildings. One building will hold the mural, while the other will serve as an educational facility complete with a visitors center and indoor theater.
"The most exciting part is going to be seeing this when it's finally open," Griesendieck said. "Our first mission is to get started on this construction. I'm not getting any younger."
A resident speaking before the commission said while she thinks the mural project is a good thing, she is worried about the impact it will have on her surroundings, specifically speaking about traffic concerns.
"I'm very impressed with the whole project, but I have some concerns," said resident Claudia Wolf-Davey, who lives in an area behind the project's future home. "If the traffic does get heavy, will it impact the traffic in neighboring communities?"
Engineer David Spear addressed Wolf-Davey's traffic worries.
"People from the area are not going to be coming in and out of the museum," Spear said. "We don't anticipate an event that is going to divert traffic."
After the commission approved the project, Bill Pratt of the Economic Development Commission expressed his pleasure with the decision.
"This is going to be so important for the town," Pratt said.
Walt Gogolya can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.