Removal of historic tile murals in Caddo begins

From left are Ken Folett, a contractor from Callan Contracting out of New York, and Jason Church, Chief of Technical Services for the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Folett assessed the murals Monday, Oct. 18 and how to carefully remove them.

Hannah Richardson | Lifestyle Editor

The tile murals in Caddo Hall on NSU’s Campus have been housed there since their creation in the early 1960s by renowned artist, Orville Hanchey. As the demolition for the aging hall approaches, work has recently begun on carefully removing and preserving the unique works of art. The murals were created on site during Caddo Hall’s construction in May 1960, and depict facets of campus life at NSU at the time.

This article published in the Oct. 23, 2021, print edition

A musician playing a cello, the water tower, theatrical masks, gymnastics, nursing, students dancing, a graduate and more are part of the mural. Probably the most poignant icon is of the gates at the entrance to NSU. Only six tiles have gone missing since their creation, but otherwise they are in excellent condition- also considering their location has been semi-exposed to the elements near the entrance of the building all this time.

From left are NSU Physical Plant Director Dale Wohletz and Capital Outlay and Special Projects Coordinator Gil Gilson. The hole behind them is actually the backside of the murals. Removing the area behind them is crucial in the process of safely removing the tile murals.

A new location for the tiles has not been determined as of yet, but they will be stored safely until they find a new home.