Sims: Gloria Casarez mural to be saved

Honors advocate for LGBT rights in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, July 23 – State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., today announced that following talks with Midwood Investment and Development and the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, an agreement has been reached to save the mural of Gloria Casarez that adorns the former 12th Street Gym in his legislative district.

Midwood purchased the property at 204 S. 12th St. several months ago, which includes the mural of Gloria Casarez. She was Philadelphia’s first director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT affairs and passed away in 2014 after battling breast cancer.

Sims stated Midwood had not solidified the future development plans for the property.

“Midwood has continuously supported and invested in Philadelphia’s arts and local communities for more than 20 years. We’re committed to helping ensure that the costs needed for the mural’s relocation are provided,” said John Usdan, CEO of Midwood.  

Sims said, “I greatly appreciate Mr. Usdan’s commitment to ensuring the mural lives on in honor of the life and legacy of Gloria Casarez. Midwood has consistently demonstrated it is a valued partner in Philadelphia.

“Gloria worked tirelessly for not only the LGBT community, but also the city of Philadelphia as a whole. It is important to memorialize the steadfast work Gloria dedicated to establishing our city's policies that made us one of the most LGBT inclusive cities in the nation,” Sims added.

Photo courtesy: 

Gloria Casarez

© City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Michelle Angela Ortiz
Photo by Steve Weinik. Reprinted by permission.