Mural brightens Southbank Riverwalk public restroom

Mural brightens Southbank Riverwalk public restroom
David Nackashi decorates the former “Little Gray House” on the Southbank to look like a native Florida setting.

A nondescript public restroom on the Southbank Riverwalk sprang to life with scenes of untouched native Florida in late February when Springfield artist David Nackashi decorated three sides of the “Little Gray House” with splashy murals.

“This is right up my alley. I love doing Florida scenes,” Nackashi said, adding he traveled out to Ringhaver Park along the Ortega River to get his inspiration. “I’ll paint anything anybody wants, but this is the kind of stuff I enjoy,” he said. “This is what I paint on my own, and to get to do three sides of a building located on the Riverwalk and paint in 70-degree weather, it’s great.”

Springfield artist David Nackashi standing alongside the mural he is painting on the former “Little Gray House” on the Southbank Riverwalk.
Springfield artist David Nackashi standing alongside the mural he is painting on the former “Little Gray House” on the Southbank Riverwalk.

Nackashi, who finished the work Feb. 26, was commissioned by the Downtown Dwellers Neighborhood Association to paint the only public restroom on the Southbank Riverwalk. The building also houses an office for the Southbank’s private security team. Transforming the mundane gray building, which stands in the shadow of The Strand behind the Lone Sailor Statute on the Riverwalk, was the idea of Downtown Dwellers President Sandra Fradd and Susan Strauss, both Peninsula residents.

The women, who were joined by Howard Taylor of The Strand, worked with District 5 Councilwoman Lori Boyer and Daryl Joseph, director of the City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, to bring the mural to fruition. In January 2019, the Dwellers embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise $10,000 to pay for the mural as an in-kind donation to the city. Money raised will also cover an as-yet undecided art project for the Northbank Riverwalk.

In response to the Dwellers’ in-kind donation, the city has agreed to install lights to illuminate the mural at night. Meanwhile, the Dwellers have agreed to pay for maintenance of the mural including, if necessary, graffiti removal and having Nackashi return to make touch-ups if the paint fades the rendering as it glistens in the Florida sun.  

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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