Anyone who lives in the Pinckney or Old West Lawrence areas of Lawrence, Kansas is likely familiar with the Pinckney Tunnel. For more than 60 years the tunnel has provided a link, both literal and symbolic, between these two great historic neighborhoods. Most importantly, the tunnel provides a safe method of crossing busy 6th Street for many students who attend our beloved neighborhood school, Pinckney Elementary.
Sometime during winter break, our beloved Pinckney Tunnel was vandalized with graffiti tags. (Read the Lawrence-Journal World story here. ). The beautified tunnel—a labor of love, donations and many hours of hard work—is the route many Pinckney Elementary School students use to safely cross a busy 6th Street on their way to and from school, and it has greeted them with bright walls and inspiring artwork since the mural installation four years ago. Volunteers are already hard at work to undo the damage, but we’re asking your help in covering restoration costs as well as covering costs to help prevent damage in the future.
Despite its prominent role in our neighborhoods, prior to 2013, the Pinckney Tunnel was not in ideal shape. Lacking adequate lighting, covered with graffiti, and often littered with trash that included needles, condoms and feces, the tunnel did not provide a bright welcome each day for students on their way to, or back from, school. Because of this, the school, neighborhood groups and the city came together in 2013 to radically transform the tunnel from a bleak passageway to a bright, safe walk, filled with inspiring artwork (Read the Lawrence Journal-World story here and see photos here ) and we were left with a landmark that every neighbor could take pride in.
Volunteers have already begun the process of undoing the damage. The affected artwork panel has been removed and work has begun to try to remove the spray paint in the hopes that the artwork can be restored. Tunnel walls are being repainted. It is expected that additional security cameras will soon be in place to monitor the tunnel.
The Pinckney Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is raising funds via this GoFundMe campaign for the following purposes:
1. Help cover costs related to covering/removing the graffiti from both tunnel walls and artwork panel.
2. Help cover costs related to possible solutions to preventing/mitigating any future acts of vandalism.
We understand that there are few, if any, reliable ways to ensure that this type of damage can never happen again. However, we believe that a clean tunnel, with beautiful artwork, is the most effective deterrent to crime, danger, and future vandalism.