Today marked the unveiling of the restoration of a 13-year-old mural depicting the storied history of the Chicago Fire on 1030 West 16th street (Carpenter Road an 16th street) in Pilsen.
The restoration, led by local artist Oscar Romero, is part of the Fire’s continued efforts to strengthen relationships within the Hispanic community in support of the Fire’s Hispanic Heritage night match between the Fire and Seattle Sounders FC at TOYOTA PARK on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 PM CT (My50).
“Soccer is more than just a game,” said Fire Head Coach de los Cobos. “It is an expression of self. This mural not only connects the past and present history of the club, it connects the Fire with the members of this community. I’m very pleased to be here and to help commemorate this exciting depiction of Fire soccer in Pilsen.”
Romero began painting the Fire-themed mural in 1998, when he created a mural of Fire icons Jorge Campos and Roman Kosecki playing soccer within the fabled walls of Soldier Field, the Fire’s first home.
Over the last 18 months, the club has worked closely with members of the Hispanic community including Romero, Alderman Daniel Solis and staff, Fire supporters’ group Section 8 and BEHR Paint representative Oscar Mendoza, who were all in attendance at the historic unveiling, in the restoration and modern day additions of TOYOTA PARK to the historic mural. Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos was also on-hand to help commemorate the event and provide the mural a present day connection to the Fire.
“Since day one, I’ve been excited to restore the mural with the help of the Chicago Fire. I saw it as an opportunity to unify the different cultures in Chicago with one word: soccer,” said Romero, the artist behind the Fire Mural. “Soccer allows people to forget some of the rough times by playing and watching the Beautiful Game.”
Romero has worked in drawing, painting, engraving, fresco and sculpture for more than 40 years. Born in 1954, Romero comes from several family generations with a strong appreciation on the art. Romero has done a myriad of personal and group exhibitions as well as fine art and public mural projects both in the United States and Mexico.
“The Chicago Fire mural is an important part of our community’s heritage because of our passion and commitment to soccer and the club,” said Alderman Solis. “We are grateful to the Fire and everyone involved in restoring this mural and maintaining its presence and relevance in Pilsen.”
For more information on the Mural in Pilsen, visit here.