Reports: Penguin Mural May Return to Silver Spring Transit Center

Sally Callmer Thompson's 1989 design of commuting penguins is in storage, awaiting the opening of the Silver Spring Transit Center.

A fanciful mural of commuting penguins that adorned the Colesville Road side of the Silver Spring Metro station for 25 years hasn't gone anywhere, according to the Washington Post's Answer Man column. It's sitting in an unused room in the Silver Spring Civic Building, the Post reports, awaiting the Silver Spring Transit Center to open.

“While I was painting it, I was imagining a sort of fantasy Metro station, where it’s always clean, everybody’s happy, the trains and escalators run perfectly,” said Sally Callmer Thompson, who designed "Penguin Rush Hour" in 1989. “It’s a little Metro utopia.”

The mural was removed in 2004 after 15 years of exposure to rain, wind and snow caused the work to deteriorate. Thompson restored her painting in 2006 and it was put away, with the eventual plan of having the mural adorn the transit center walls.

Tell us: Do you remember Thompson's mural? Are you excited to see Silver Spring's penguins on your daily commute? 

Kris Berg February 11, 2013 at 07:14 PM
How do penguins relate to Silver Spring?
jag February 11, 2013 at 09:10 PM
My understanding is the mural was what started the penguin-Silver Spring association. Now you can see penguins pop up all over downtown Silver Spring, but I'm pretty sure the mural was the first instance. No idea why the artist used penguins, but I think it's turned into a pretty cool local tradition/mascot over the decades.
Interrobang February 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Its return is long overdue!
Barbara February 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Miss the penguins!
Tina Slater February 12, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Maybe the artist came upon penguins as an interesting way to portray everyday people w/o regard to gender or race? I don't know. But I do know they are cute, that kids like them (and it's never to early to introduce kids to riding transit), and I can't wait for them to return to the transit center --- after it is fixed and after it opens. Please, please, please -- let's get this show on the road!


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