Hamtramck mural brings new life to an iconic, retro design

November 16, 2021, 4:03 PM by  Catherine Nouhan

A new mural on the corner of Trowbridge and Joseph Campau streets was recently unveiled in Hamtramck. If the piece has a familiar design, it draws inspiration from an '80s-era billboard a mile away.

The new mural was inspired by the design on a billboard with Hamtramck's 1980s slogan.

Kelly Golden, a local sign painter, was commissioned by the building owner to paint the sign on Trowbridge House of Coffee with a 21st-century update.

“They said they just wanted to switch out the slogan, which I guess Hamtramck has updated in recent years. So I redesigned that one line of text to match,” Golden said.

Hamtramck’s slogan was updated from “a touch of Europe in America,” to the more inclusive “the world in two square miles.” A city that used to be called “Little Warsaw” and was a landing place for Polish immigrants is now a mixing bowl of several ethnic communities, including Bangladesh, Yemen and other Middle East nations. And with a newly elected Muslim mayor and city council majority, the city is living up to its new slogan.

Golden enjoyed being the artist to affix the new slogan to the retro design. She also added that many passersby stopped to talk as she painted, making it especially memorable.

Kelly Golden, a local sign painter, works on the mural.

“I love any sort of old-school graphics like that, specifically that particular design," Golden said. "And to be able to bring it back to Hamtramck, and have that last for another who knows how long was a really great experience to be a part of.”

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