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Published February 19th, 2020
Wells Fargo Bank's new interior mural honors Moraga's history
Photo Vera Kochan

Customers of Moraga's Wells Fargo Bank, located at 1399 Moraga Way, have noticed the obvious remodeling that took place a few months ago. Cubicles have been repositioned, seating has been rearranged, walls have been painted a brighter color, and the biggest change of all was the removal of the western-era mural behind the teller stations.
According to Branch Manager Mandeep Dhindsa, "Branches go through a remodel about every 10 years. Many customers wanted to know what happened to that mural."
A brand new color mural reflecting the town's history was installed in late January near the seating area of the bank's lobby. WFB initiated their Community Mural Project back in 1998 and has since installed more than 2,400 murals in locations nationwide. More locally, there are 175 throughout the Bay Area and 18 murals in Contra Costa County. The murals are not painted, but rather they are designed by a team of graphic artists to create collage-style historical art.
WFB Vice President of Corporate Communications Rubin Pulido said it was "important to install a mural to showcase some of Moraga's rich history for its close-knit community." Photos include Saint Mary's College, the iconic Moraga Center sign, the Carroll family and their horses c.1920, Moraga School's eighth grade graduating class of 1957, and the Moraga Valley which were provided by the Contra Costa County Historical Society. Additional photos of the Moraga Barn and Willow Spring School were provided by the Moraga Historical Society. Besides the mural, a "key" is located nearby with a description of each image on the 8.7 foot wide by 4.8 foot high installation.
Moraga Historical Society President Susan Sperry said, "We got a message at the Historical Center that Wells Fargo would like to change their mural. They needed our permission to use the Barn and Willow Spring School photos." While the MHS wasn't consulted about the final product, Sperry added, "It's representative of the area, and I'm so pleased that they used our two photos."
The town's mural project began in July and was completed by November. Pulido explained that WFB makes sure to "use a blend of various images and not all buildings or not all people so that there is good visual variety. In addition to historical relevance, we feature images that are visually strong and read well on a large scale."
Dhindsa said, "Customers have received it well." Remarks have been positive ranging from, "Very nice." to "Oh! It's the old days of Moraga!"
Pulido noted that WFB offers a special bonus regarding each of their nationally located murals. "When family members of people featured in the murals are able to identify their relatives, we are glad to present them with framed replicas of the mural as a special gift!" It's time to dust off the family photo albums Moraga!

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