Bicentennial Mural on Prado Dam in Corona Is Too Degraded for Historic Listing: Officials

The bicentennial mural painted on the Prado Dam spillway in Corona, shown here in 2005, greets motorists entering Riverside County at the intersection of the 91 and 71 freeways. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The bicentennial mural painted on the Prado Dam spillway in Corona, shown here in 2005, greets motorists entering Riverside County at the intersection of the 91 and 71 freeways. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Army Corps of Engineers says a huge mural painted on a Southern California dam for the nation’s bicentennial is ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Corps said Tuesday the keeper of the register determined the mural on the spillway of Prado Dam had lost physical integrity and is no longer able to convey its historic character or significance.

The mural completed by high schoolers in 1976 shows the phrase “200 YEARS OF FREEDOM,” a Liberty Bell silhouette, and the dates “1776-1976.”

The mural was assessed for the register after the Corps announced plans to remove it due to presence of lead paint.

The keeper of the register found that loss of original paint, massive overpainting and graffiti severely altered its design and intent.

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