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FARMINGTON — After months of delays caused by shipping problems, a historic "photo mural" in downtown Farmington is nearing completion.

The project, located in the space between two buildings at 201 E. Main St., features a large black-and-white image of a business that occupied the space in the early 1900s, the Grand Union Tea Co., and store owner Fanny Paxton. It is being funded by a $5,000 grant from the Resilient Communities Fund, which is administered as a partnership between the New Mexico Resiliency Alliance and the New Mexico MainStreet program. The grants are targeted for locally driven economic development projects in rural or underserved communities in the state.

The image is mounted on weather- and fade-resistant vinyl material and was placed in the middle of the space on June 14, just in time for the quarterly art walk. Workers from the adjacent Downtown Junkers, the landlord for the space, are welding a metal fence that will flank the image on both sides, according to downtown coordinator Michael Bulloch.

Though it isn't finished yet, Bulloch said the project has made quite an impression already on downtown pedestrians.

"We've had a few people post selfies with Fanny (on their social media accounts), so that's kind of fun," he said of the mural.

Bulloch encouraged passers-by to study the photo closely, as it features some interesting details, including a reflection of the photographer in the window behind Paxton.

The fence features a gate that will open to the alley behind the image, which will be cleaned up and converted into a space for outdoor workshops for Downtown Junkers, Bulloch said. Early plans for the project called for the gate to be placed in the door of the photo, but Bulloch said that turned out to be unfeasible.

A metal greenhouse frame that occupies the space behind the image will be disassembled and moved to another location, he said, while an old flatbed trailer will be converted into a stage for live music performances.

More: Historic photo project planned for downtown Farmington space

"We'll have a bunch of nice, open area back there," Bulloch said.

The project originally was scheduled for completion by the end of last year, but some of the photo panels were damaged during shipping and had to be replaced.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.

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