Corner Canyon High is charging into the future with a little piece of Draper’s history.
After humidity started to take its toll on a mural painted in 1938 on a wall in the historic Draper Park School, the Draper Historical Society made arrangements to have the mural removed and restored. Thanks to a collaborative effort between the historical society, Canyons District and the City of Draper, the mural has now been transferred to the newly built Corner Canyon, where it now hangs in the school’s Legacy Room.
“(The mural) stood there for a long time, and it is a special thing to people here in the Draper valley,” Corner Canyon Principal Mary Bailey said. “When (the historical society) realized the mural may be lost, they decided to find a way to save it.”
The historical society recruited restoration specialist Dale Jolley, who paints and restores many murals for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to scrape the paint-on-cheesecloth piece from the wall and repair its damage. The eight- by 16-foot painting was completed in 1939 by artist Paul Smith as part of a Works Progress Administration project.
The mural depicts a scene of Draper’s community members, featuring images taken from photographs and sketches of the day. John Park, a prominent educator who is the namesake of the old Draper Park School, which was built in 1912, is a main feature of the scene.
In order to protect the painting from further damage, the painting has been mounted on an aluminum frame that will allow air to flow behind and in front of the canvas, thus maintaining a stable moisture and temperature level. The painting was created around a doorway in the old Draper Park School, and the restored version maintains the door-shaped hole.
“This is the way it came,” Bailey said of the mural’s unusual shape. “It is one of a kind.”