The iconic Montclair wall painting — fondly referred to as “that huge chicken mural on Church Street,”, though it actually resides at the corner of Park Street and Bloomfield Avenue — is getting a touch up this week.
According to the 1,000+ FaceBook fan page that is the local repository for all things related to the chicken/rooster, the painting was originally done in 1980 by artist Thomas Reitter, who we believe might be pictured here.
The fans, and many other local residents, are contentious about whether to call the animal a chicken or a rooster (technically the beast’s wattles, earlobes and comb classify it as a male, making it a rooster), let alone that it’s on Park Street and not Church Street, as the fan page implies.
At any rate, the much beloved creature is looking a little brighter today (and happier, if we can apply a little anthropomorphism to the fellow).
Tell us your favorite story about the Park Street mascot. Know any related history or local lore?
Here are some comments from the FaceBook page to start off the conversation:
“The idea about doing a Town mural came about when I first rented the old Aiello Meat market to new tenant who was putting a chicken delight in the location. The idea was to put something exciting on the wall, so that when the morning sun hit the wall the rooster would crow and wake up the Town.” – Paul Zimmerman
My two year old daughter loves that chicken !!! “Big Chicken” she yells every time we pass it. – Nicole Gary Mincey
From 1982 until about 1992 Many,many musicians rehearsed downstairs from “The Chicken in “The Meat Locker.” – Nicholas Ferro
Thanks to Ron Travisano, Montclair resident for the photo and tip.