Visit 5 Murals in Macomb, IL for the Perfect Day Trip

The Macomb Murals Project was initiated by the Visit Forgottonia/Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Conceived in 2018, the first mural was The Old Dairy Mural. This mural was designed with the goal of inspiring other organizations and community members to create their own murals. That goal has been achieved! Since 2018 at least one new mural a year has been unveiled in and around the Macomb, IL Historic Courthouse Square. With the Macomb Murals Project catching on throughout Forgottonia’s McDonough County, there are currently 5 outstanding murals to enjoy for a fun-filled day trip!

What is “Forgottonia”?

The lore of “Forgottonia” was created in what is the very heart of the republic – Macomb, IL. “Forgottonia” is the name given to a fourteen-county region in West Central Illinois in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Learn more!

Plan Your Day Trip to See the 5 Murals:

#1: Old Dairy Café Mural, 210 S. Lafayette St., Macomb, IL

Nearly 15-feet high and stretching over 60-feet long, stands this whimsical, colorful mural located on the north side of the Old Dairy just off Macomb’s Historic Courthouse Square. Working in conjunction with the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Old Dairy Cafe and the Macomb Office of Downtown Development, WIU Professor of Art Bill Howard along with WIU Art Professor Emeritus Mike Mahoney created a dazzling montage that pays tribute to both the history of Macomb and the Old Dairy itself.

Mural Highlights

  • With vintage pop culture images relating to food, diners and dairy products, the mural also features representations of Macomb‘s old water tower and the iconic “EAT” sign from the town’s much beloved and now vanished Maid Rite café.
  • Notable natives are also featured: “Big” Al Sears, Gen. Alexander Macomb, Com. Thomas MacDonough and Monopoly inventor Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie.

#2: Western Illinois Museum Mural, 201 S. Lafayette St., Macomb, IL

Across the street from the Old Dairy is the Western Illinois Museum where nationally known muralist and Macomb native Tanner Woodford’s “What You Feed Will Grow” is displayed. The founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago donated his abundant artisanal talents to present Macomb with this mural in his traditionally optimistic and typographical style.

#3: Rev. C. T. Vivian: Life of a Servant Leader Mural, 135 N Randolph St, Macomb, IL

In recognition of one of Macomb’s greatest sons, the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with C.T. Vivian Project Foundation of Macomb founder and director Byron Oden-Shabazz and artist and former WIU Professor of Art, Michael Mahoney, to honor civil rights pioneer, Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian.

Mural Highlights

  • This mural depicts Dr. Vivian late in life, looking over the course of his storied lifetime – from a young man graduating from Macomb High School and Western Illinois University through his varied experiences as a Reverend and leading activist in The Civil Rights Movement.
  • Working shoulder to shoulder with Rev. Martin Luther King and lifelong friend Rep. John Lewis, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barrack Obama.
  • At 18 -eet high and nearly 75-feet long, this mural is currently McDonough County’s largest.

#4: MBA 50th Anniversary Mural, 221 N. Randolph St., Macomb, IL

Celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2022, the Macomb Beautiful Association unveiled a mural for the residents and visitors of the City of Macomb. The 67 x 12-foot mural is displayed on the north wall of Gelsosomo’s Pizza building at the intersection of Routes 67 & 136. The design of the mural depicts a bucolic rural farm setting, intended to reflect the essence of Macomb’s beautiful community and its many talented residents.

#5: Stronger Together Mural, 405 N. Prairie Ave., Macomb, IL

The “Stronger Together” community-painted mural promotes the power and strength of communities’ diversity. The mural is located at Prairieview Townhomes. A companion urban-inspired, spray-painted mural on the west side of The Study coffee house can also be viewed at 116 W. Jackson St. in Macomb.

Plan Your Perfect Day Trip!

Plan your day trip today and enjoy these 5 current murals! Plus, now in the Macomb Murals Project planning phase are new murals – Sports Corner and Build A Better Block. Watch for inauguration announcements on these in the future. Once you’ve arrived in Macomb, IL you can visit the Unforgettable Forgottonia / MACVB offices for additional information and directions or call 309-837-6700. Also visit the Murals Webpage or email: [email protected].