Lehigh Valley

Alburtis family uncovers decades-old Phillies mural

Alburtis family uncovers decades-old Phillies mural

ALBURTIS, Pa. - For the last three days, contractor Eric Zodel has been working to renovate the outside of a home in Alburtis.

"I just did what I usually do," explained the Craig Smith Construction worker. "Pry it off with a hammer and that was it."

While chipping away at the more than 150 year old house, Zodel made a discovery.

"In 15 years I've never seen anything like this doing construction."

Underneath the green aluminum siding he was stripping was a massive, decades old mural.

"It's pretty cool," added Zodel.

The 25-foot painting was done in 1976. Created on the wood siding of the 19th century home, it's an unlikely spot for a tribute to the '76 Philadelphia Phillies, and the United States' bicentennial.

"A lot of people have been stopping by and looking at it," explained Zodel. "A lot of the neighbors."

Including the woman behind the artwork, Debbie Trexler.

"I bet you were surprised," she questioned homeowner John Rivetti.

He's been living in the Walbert Lane house for almost 20 years, and even though the mural's been covered up for about 37 years, neighbors told him all about it.

"Debbie and her girlfriend painted it all," laughed Debbie's mother Dolores Trexler. "We had a heck of a good time."

"I believe it was over a weekend that we got it done," Debbie recalled.

Back in '76 Debbie's aunt lived in the house, and was a massive Phillies fan. Debbie had just graduated high school. But her claim to fame was short lived. Her aunt owned the house, and a few days after doing the painting it was hidden under new siding.

"It looks like it was just painted," said Debbie. "I can't believe how it held up."

Monday the gets covered up again. Maybe to surprise the next homeowner in another few decades.

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