PHOTO STORY: Work on downtown Niles mural begins

NILES — Two historical figures have taken up residence in downtown Niles.

The Niles-born-and-raised Dodge brothers, who founded the Dodge Motor Company in the early 1900s, are in the early stages of being painted on an empty parking lot wall.

“I’m going for a realistic look,” said painter Russell “Pain” Corrado, brush in hand. “When I’m done, they are going to look pretty life-like.”

The Dodge brothers are just one piece of a large mural being painted in the parking lot at the corner of N. Second and Sycamore streets in downtown Niles. Corrado, partner and owner of Order and Chaos Tattoo Emporium, 116 S. 11th St., Niles, began work on the mural Monday and plans to incorporate several pieces of Niles history into the mural, including the water tower, Chapin Mansion, the Ready Theatre, the historic train station and more.

“I’m going to fit in as much as I can,” Corrado said. “This is a big space to work with. I reworked the design to fit this huge area.”

The mural was approved early this month by the Niles City Council, the Niles Public Arts Commission and the Downtown Development Authority. Although city funds will cover the costs of materials for the project, Corrado is donating his labor.

“It’s about time I left a mark,” he said.

Corrado said the mural will take him at least all summer but may span into next spring.

“I’m in no hurry,” the artist said. “I want it to look good.”

Though it will be months before the mural is completed, Corrado said he is already looking forward to seeing the finished product.

“I’m excited,” he said. “This will be a fun project.”

Corrado said he would welcome volunteers looking to help with the project. To volunteer, call Order and Chaos Tattoo at (574) 334-2822.

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