Artist Peat Wollaeger Gives Church's Chicken Holy Makeover with Stained Glass "Windows"

Categories: Art

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The mural on the former Church's Chicken building. | Nancy Stiles

The beleaguered Church's Chicken (6190 Delmar Boulevard) in the Loop closed in May, and has been sitting vacant ever since then. It's some pretty prominent real estate -- the corner of Delmar and Skinker Boulevards -- so it's a little surprising some developer hasn't snatched up the eyesore, what with the explosion of restaurants in the Loop.

Over the summer, local artist Peat Wollaeger spruced up the construction site of the new Washington University student housing with his signature eye motif. Now, he's done it again, with ocular faux-stained glass windows on the old Church's building.

"Since it was a 'church's' chicken, I thought it would make sense to do stained glass windows," says Wollaeger. "Seems appropriate, right?"

See also: Church's Chicken, Delmar Loop Location, is "Permanently Closed"

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Wollaeger's signature eye features in the mural. | Nancy Stiles

Wollaeger completed the project over the weekend of September 27. He was inspired not only by the name of the building's former tenant, but also the work of his assistant Chris Rice -- he's been experimenting with stained glass windows.

"It's just about beautifying that corner until they decide what they want to with that property. It was kind of ugly, so it that's how it all came about," Wollaeger tells Gut Check.

Curiously, Wollaeger wouldn't disclose who commissioned the project, though current property records show that the building is still owned by Falcon Holdings, the largest Church's Chicken franchisee in the country.

Whoever it was, Wollaeger says the person saw his "Eyes on Delmar" project and asked him to beautify the vacant building.

"My motivation for putting up art in the first place is to make St. Louis cooler, the Loop cooler," Wollaeger says. "I just love getting more art up, and before that was just an ugly piece of Americana running down."

See also: Artist Peat Wollaeger Eyes The Loop, Brightens Wash. U. Delmar Construction Site (PHOTOS)

Wollaeger even wanted to switch out the outdoor overhead lights at Church's with black lights to really make the neon paint pop, but it was just too expensive.

"How dope would that be?" he says. "That would look so cool for Halloween."

Continue for more pictures of Wollaeger's mural.


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25 comments
Jay Hemp
Jay Hemp

Matt Higgins: I remember that motorcycle shop on Eastgate!

John Oldani
John Oldani

You could get chicken and at the same time live life on the edge in the same place. The Grand location across from the Vet's Hospital provides the same "excitement", but without the indoor seating and odor coming from the bathroom.

Matt Higgins
Matt Higgins

I tended bar at Marcos Imbibery on the corner of Delmar and Eastgate. Mark then sold the bar that became Eli Burke. This was from the mid seventies thru the mid eighties. A friend had a M/C shop a couple of doors east on Delmar, then bought the Pratzels bakery on Eastgate when they moved. Several of us M/C club members had apts. on Eastgate. The neighborhood was on its way down, becoming ghetto-ized, so we all got out. Glad to see the resurgence now.

frisellan
frisellan

If the artist can let me know the size and quanity of the fluorescent bulbs needed to make the black lights happen I'll see what I can do.  nickfrisella@metroelectricsupply.com

Alex Peck
Alex Peck

Hilarious!Now we can go to church&get chicken!

Jay Hemp
Jay Hemp

Man, that place has been there forever! When I was a kid (I'm 41 now) my dad and uncle owned a bar and a liquor store on Delmar and Eastgate called City Limits, and I remember going to that Church's back then!

Shannon Hayden
Shannon Hayden

that place was a smelly dump.the 2 times i was in there i got sick and had some scum bag thugs bugging me for money,food and a date.i don't date guys with sagging pants or who listen to rap crap.

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

Only been there once.. They need to KNOCK IT DOWN and MAKE IT INTO A PARKING LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt Higgins
Matt Higgins

Used to eat there back in the mid to late '70's. Two peppers per breast!

Diana Cobos
Diana Cobos

What to be delighted about? (unless you´re a real estate developer.)

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

Great place to score rock cocaine

Bea Stout Pollard
Bea Stout Pollard

Beautiful, Peat! I used to walk down the street as a kid for a large diet Coke from Church's This is quite an improvement!

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

Fucking Dave. At least he didn't blame Obama haha

Benjamin A. Snow
Benjamin A. Snow

I know right? It was the cheapest food place in The Loop and like you say, it helped many of hungry Pageant goers waiting for tickets or a concert!

Sarah Folkemer
Sarah Folkemer

This looks awesome!and now I want some chicken...

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

Delighted many? That place was a bathroom that sold $1 sandwiches for many line sitters at the pageant :(

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