KEY LARGO (CBSMiami/AP) – A 60 foot long, 11 and a half feet tall mural commemorating the centennial anniversary of the completion of Henry Flagler’s Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad was unveiled on Sunday at Mile Marker 95 in Key Largo.
The large artwork depicts a train steaming across the Long Key Viaduct. Above the bridge is a full moon adorned with the face of Flagler, one of Florida’s pioneering developers.
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham was on hand for the official unveiling.
The artwork was created by Keys professional artists along with student painters.
“Painting this with a historical element makes it a lot more special, because I’m living in the product of the railroad,” said Natalie Sassine, an Island Christian School senior. “Years from now, if I’m living here or if I come back to visit, I have my grandchildren and like I painted this.
Cris Sandifer, the lead artist for the mural project, redesigned an original 3-by-5-inch railroad postcard image to fit the wall’s surface area.
“The inspiration for this painting was an image that was like a 3 by 5 postcard and the problem was it’s over three time as long proportionately as the original,” Sandifer said. “So, of course, the whole thing had to be rethought out and designed.”
The mural is one of many Keys events being staged to mark the Jan. 22, 1912, Key West arrival of Flagler’s first train from the U.S. mainland.
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