It was almost exactly a decade ago that former Hermosa Beach councilmember Chuck Sheldon invited five friends over to pitch his idea of adorning the small beach city with 10 murals, one each year, over a 10-year period.
Today, Sheldon's community project vision is nearly complete as the Hermosa Beach Murals Project announces its 10th and final mural's location, style and theme.
The project's 10th mural will celebrate the former Biltmore Hotel, built in 1926 as the private Surf and Sand Club. In its heyday, the eight-story 120-room hotel dominated the South Bay coastline and became a focal point of the city's growing beach culture scene.
It was the tallest structure for miles, except for a few far off church steeples and, in later years, the smoke stacks of the Redondo Beach AES power plant.
After a storied history as private club, hotel chain, headquarters for a religious organization and youth center, the building was razed in 1969 and ownership of its land reverted to the city of Hermosa Beach. It's now the site of Noble Park, at 1400 The Strand.
The Biltmore will be immortalized as the 10th mural on the west wall of Chase Bank at 1223 Hermosa Ave., the site of the old Bijou Theatre building another historically significant part of Hermosa's past.
According to the Hermosa Murals Project, they have reached an agreement with Royal T Holdings owner of the building to proceed with the mural.
The project directors are looking for artists to submit in the Trompe l'oeil style of painting. Trompe l'oeil, French for "deceive the eye," is a style of still life painting that creates the illusion the subject of the painting is three dimensional, with a photographic-like quality.
Mural #3, titled "Hermosa Beach West Coast Jazz" by artist John Pugh is an example of Trompe l'oeil. That mural is on the north side of the building at 1007 Hermosa Ave.
Submissions by interested artists are due at the end of March. The board will review submissions and announce its selection in late May or early June.
For more information, visit hermosamurals.org.