The Fort Atkinson Beautification Council was recently granted permission to add a mural on a building along the Rock River near the Municipal Building in downtown Fort Atkinson, but it might be a couple years before it is done.

The mural will be placed on the city-owned water utility reservoir, located at 31 N. Water St. West. The artwork will include historical characteristics and buildings from Fort Atkinson, including a Native American settlement, the Rufus Doge log cabin, a raft portraying early crossings of the Rock River and fishermen.

Jude Hartwick, president of the Beautification Council, has worked with city staff to ensure the reservoir will not be compromised by the processes involved in preparing and painting the mural. The mural will be painted across six panels of the reservoir.

The project will begin this summer, when the current paint on the building will be removed and replaced with a tan or light brown Keim exterior paint.

The Keim paint — which typically lasts 30-40 years and has lasted up to 100 years in Europe with minor touch ups, according to Jude Hartwick — is being used to ensure the mural adheres when it is painted in fall 2023 or spring 2024.

The project is estimated to cost about $18,000 and will be paid for with fundraising. Hartwick said his plan is to begin fundraising next year after the council knows the Keim paint sticks and the mural itself can be added. A grant application will be written to the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation to try to secure matching funds.

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