EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

December 6, 2013

Bank to preserve mural of Pelham landmarks

Bank decides to maintain mural of town landmarks

PELHAM — Santander Bank’s $200 million rebranding campaign didn’t anticipate the priceless mural in the lobby of the Pelham branch on Bridge Street.

But the decision of bank executives to preserve Lowell artist Janet Lambert-Moore’s painting that incorporates Pelham landmarks was like solid gold to the people of town.

“Oh, they definitely made the right decision,” said customer Jackie Murphy, a retired Memorial School teacher, as her eyes scanned the mural yesterday. “It represents the town and its history.”

The mural depicts First Congregational Church, Harris’ Pelham Inn, the old Sherburne School that is now Town Hall, and the old library that is now home to the historical society.

There is the trolley barn, old stone bridges and Atwood’s Store.

Some of the landmarks still stand, some are gone to history.

The mural covers the entire first floor lobby wall behind the tellers.

“The town of Pelham, the population in general, will be pleased with their keeping that mural,” said Rep. Charlene Takesian, R-Pelham. “That’s our town.”

When the former Sovereign Bank became Santander Bank this fall, people wondered what would become of the mural.

Santander’s regional president, Mike Bruno, said branding is important to companies.

The bank wanted its 159 branches in the Northeast, including 20 in New Hampshire, to resemble one another in the way they look and feel to customers, he said.

But while Santander is a global financial company, Bruno said he is proud it also understands the importance of serving people locally.

“This mural was obviously very important to the community,” he said. “We made the decision very quickly this was the right thing to do for this community to have that mural in the branch.”

He describes the mural as massive.

“It’s pretty great,” Bruno said. “You can see how the community connects to it.”

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