Riverfront Murals

  • Miami Conservancy District


Why they’re great
Dayton’s riverfront is vibrant. Wildlife. Cyclists and runners. Kids playing in fountains or ice skating – depending on the season. Businesses and new residential properties. And, there is color. Colorful murals hug the Great Miami River near the Main Street Bridge. Two murals are painted on MCD floodwalls – walls that continue to protect Dayton from Great Miami River flooding and now add to the aesthetic appeal of the river.

  • The River Run mural, designed by artist Amy Deal, graces the north bank across the river from RiverScape MetroPark. Its theme embraces the riverfront as a place to enjoy nature and an active lifestyle. Its colors expertly unite the tile roofs, brick buildings, water, sky, bridges and trees around it.
  • The Wave mural features stylized waves on an MCD floodwall along the southbank of the Great Miami River across from McPherson Town. This mural is a simple pattern, created by MCD staff and the Montgomery County Courts.

How to go
The River Run Mural is between the Riverside/Patterson Bridge and the Main Street Bridge. An ideal viewing spot is from RiverScape MetroPark on East Monument Avenue in downtown Dayton. Parking is available at metered locations on nearby streets or at one of the downtown parking garages.

The Wave mural is between the Main Street Bridge and the I-75 Bridge. An ideal viewing location is the North River Walk – a gravel walkway atop the levee along Riverview Avenue. Parking is permitted along the north side of Riverview Avenue. (Include maps, detailing feasible access points and vantage points for viewing).

Viewing art from the vantage point of an active transportation corridor (e.g. the Great Miami River Recreation Trail) may have some inherent dangers. Please avoid blocking the trail while viewing the murals.

In 2012, downtown Dayton leaders and art innovators met with MCD to envision a permanent artistic improvement for MCD’s 1,000- foot-long, 20-foot-high concrete floodwall on the right (north) bank of the river, facing RiverScape MetroPark. A simple painted mural would meet the desire to improve the wall’s appearance, highlight the riverfront’s assets, and maintain the floodwall’s structural integrity. By 2014, the Downtown Dayton Partnership had secured funding for the River Run mural from the State of Ohio, Cox Media Group, and CareSource Foundation. A design selection committee of local leaders and artists established a process to choose the image to be featured on the wall.

Eighty-two design concepts initially were submitted for consideration. After weighing many factors, including community input, the design selection committee ultimately chose the unifying colors and exciting outdoor recreation theme reflected in the Amy Deal design. MCD determined a silica-based mineral paint to reduce fading and allows water vapor to pass through the wall during extreme conditions. MCD contracted with K12 Gallery to paint Deal’s design on the wall.

Also in 2014, MCD determined that its floodwall along the Great Miami River between Main Street and the historic YMCA building was vulnerable to vandalism. MCD partnered with the Montgomery County Courts’ Adult Probation program to paint the blue background and wavy dot pattern on the wall as a way to improve the area’s aesthetics and deter future graffiti.