Let's see if I can keep up with this challenge for a whole year... I have my concerns, but at least the group is wide open in subject matter so it can be a photo of ANYTHING, just one new photo for each and every day. If you're interested in also participating, check out Project 365 at this link. And here's my first of what will hopefully be a continuous series of photos across the next 365 days....



[Project 365:1]

The 34th Street Wall is a 1,120-foot-long retaining wall along SW 34th Street in Gainesville, Florida. The wall, which dates back to 1979, was originally built to prevent erosion of a hill on the nearby University of Florida golf course when 34th Street was widened from two lanes to four.

The wall itself is most notable for being covered with layers of graffiti up to an inch thick in some areas. Messages painted on the wall have included marriage proposals, birthday wishes, graduation announcements, celebration of athletic victories, public awareness, promotion, and tributes. Musician and Gainesville native Tom Petty once noted that among the first things he saw when returning to Gainesville for a concert was a welcome message painted on the wall.

Although technically illegal, neither the Alachua County Sheriff's Office nor the Gainesville Police Department have charged anyone with criminal mischief for painting on the wall. The 34th St wall has been accepted as a Gainesville landmark and is a part of the University of Florida student culture. When the city last resurfaced 34th Street and widened the bicycle lanes, this originally required removing part of the wall. Instead, officials opted to narrow the road median instead, leaving the wall intact. In addition, waste containers are provided to allow for proper disposal of used paint supplies.

One of the more notable "panels" on the wall is a tribute to the victims of the Danny Rolling murders. The memorial lists the names of the five students who were killed, and was first painted in 1990 using black, red, and white paint. Although it has been painted over several times, it has been regularly re-painted and touched up. Other memorials have come and gone over the years, however the Rolling victim memorial is the only one that is continually maintained.


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