Preserving the Vanka Murals


St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale is the site of a national treasure – the murals of Maxo Vanka, painted in the 1930s and 1940s. Hurricanes Ivan and Frances roared through Millvale in 2004 and caused damage, as water had seeped in quietly, and partnered with dirt, pollution, and building materials to form salts on the surface of some of the murals. A big effort was started to preserve the murals, and the story goes on today.

BHF member Bette McDevitt is a prolific writer and a frequent contributor to the Western Pennsylvania History magazine, and the Heinz History Center has given us permission to feature a few of her stories here.You can get more information about the preservation at http://vankamurals.org/, but you can read Bette’s story here.

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