Local artists create mural on Fort Myers Beach’s elevator shaft that survived Ian

Author: Camila Pereira
Published: Updated:

Two artists are bringing bright colors to Fort Myers Beach.

The mission behind the Times Square elevator shaft project is to restore and create.

“That’s my goal, you walk up to it and go, ‘WOW, that’s amazing’ and have a real blast of color down here and to bring some happiness,” said local artist Lacy McClary. “I think we need it right now: a lot of positivity.”

While Hurricane Ian wiped out much of the town, including the pier, the elevator shaft stood strong against the storm’s 155-mile-per-hour winds.

The murals are meant to remind locals and visitors of Fort Myers Beach what it was like before the storm.

“It kinda shows like the vision that they’re strong, they can withstand and they can rebuild,” said Justin Hatcher, a local tourist.

Jaffrey Rapoport, a local, said, “When you see something refreshed and new, we remember how beautiful it was. It brings a lot back to us.”

As locals, McClary and Summer DeSalvo said this project is personal.

They both lost their homes and art studios in the hurricane. Now, being able to give back is priceless.

“This whole place is gonna be completely changed around, and I love the fact that I’m a part of it,” DeSalvo said.

Owner of the elevator shaft and Surfside Restaurant, Chris Primeay said it’s only been a couple of days and he can already see how much people enjoy the murals.

“I came over the bridge, and I literally was like fighting back the tears, trying to be a tough guy, but it was emotional,” Primeau said. “There’s gonna be progress here.”

Primeau hopes both DeSalvo and McClary can finish the project ahead of Sept. 28, the one-year mark since Ian destroyed the area.

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