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Unearthing Barrio Logan's Hidden Artistic Past

In the 1930s, the Aztec Brewing Co. rathskeller was a popular tasting room. The lavish decor included murals and a painted ceiling. Courtesy of San Diego History Center.
In the 1930s, the Aztec Brewing Co. rathskeller was a popular tasting room. The lavish decor included murals and a painted ceiling. Courtesy of San Diego History Center.
Unearthing Barrio Logan's hidden artistic past
GUESTS: Kelly Bennett, arts editor at Voice of San Diego Angela Carone, arts reporter at KPBS

A brewery built in Barrio Logan after Prohibition was once a site not only for beer tasting but also home to a remarkable collection of art and murals. The property that formerly housed the Aztec Brewing Co. in the '30s and '40s is now a parking lot, and the art's been sitting in storage for more than two decades. But a new plan by the City of San Diego reveals that the artworks will once again see the light of day, marking the first feasible arrangement to exhume this slice of history after a quarter-century of delays.

In a two-part series reported by Voice of San Diego and KPBS, reporters Kelly Bennett (Voice of San Diego) and Angela Carone (KPBS) illuminate the city's plans to restore the artwork and install it in a restaurant in the long-awaited Mercado del Barrio project. But a lot is still up in the air; the Mercado's developers have yet to find a restaurateur to move in to the space, and the artist who rediscovered the artwork cringes at the thought of installing it where people eat.

KPBS spoke with Kelly Bennett and Angela Carone about this story and what else they learned during their reporting. Read part one and part two of the Aztec Brewery story.

Unearthed Murals at Aztec Brewery