The Union Block is a 4400 sq. ft. mural at the corner of Jefferson and State Streets in downtown Hastings, MI. Completed over 71 days between September and December 2021, it was drawn completely by eye from a 1986 Rand McNally road map of the U.S.A. and a 2006 road atlas, also Rand McNally. The rough outline was transferred to the building's face from an initial 11.5" x 15.5" drawing, using the brickwork as a grid. The detail was then refined, again by eye, over several successive passes. It was publicly launched with a street party on 2 December.
Built in 1868, the building was the first entirely brick structure in the city, and stands on the main corner of the downtown district. It came to be known as the Union Block Building due to the type of brick used and, later, the Union hall on the third floor, which was the main community meeting room in town for much of the building's history. The mural covers its east-facing facade at 1 South Jefferson St. It stands 44 feet high and 100 feet long, occupying roughly half a city block.
The project was commissioned by the Thornapple Arts Council and funded through the patronage of TAC, Guys That Give, and a number of anonymous donors. It could not have been made without the hard work and cooperation of Megan Lavell and Tom Kramer.