Their accomplishments are larger than life, so why shouldn’t three Hoboken women be immortalized on a massive mural in the city they made their names?
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and city officials unveiled the 150-by-35 foot mural that pays tribute to Maria Pepe, Dorothea Lange and Dorothy McNeil Thursday at 1312 Adams St., a self-storage facility. The mural, created by Jersey City artist Distort, was commissioned by Storage Deluxe.
“This is an exciting project that will breathe new life into the area,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “This mural is a great tribute to some of Hoboken’s favorite daughters who made tremendous impacts on their community and the country.”
Pepe is famous as the first girl to play Little League baseball, and her legal battle not only paved the way for girls on baseball teams, it also led to the creation of Little League Softball.
“It is a blessing to be able to be a part of and to experience seeing a mural that reflects on Hoboken’s history and commitment to provide so many recreational opportunities to all children living here today,” said Pepe, who played all of three games before Hoboken officials caved to threats from the national organization and removed her from her Young Dems team.
“I am so thankful for all the support from my coach Jimmy Farina, my parents and family. I hope it inspires all children to believe all things are possible in Hoboken.”
Also featured on the mural are Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange and nightclub owner Dorothy McNeil. Lange documented rural poverty and the United States interment of the Japanese during World War II.
McNeil and her husband Charles owned and operated the Club Zanzibar nightclub, where famous acts like Wilson Pickett, the Manhattan Transfer, Mille Jackson and Kool and the Gang performed.
“This mural is the result of a successful collaboration with the city that has been three years in the making,” said Reid Weppler, vice president of development with Storage Deluxe. “We’re excited to open our new store in the neighborhood and be part of the community.”
The mural also features two dock workers, showcasing Hoboken’s industrial period.
“In this mural, I wanted to honor Hoboken’s history as a working-class and artistic city by representing the people and places that gave it it’s character,” Distort said.
The mural is also commissioned by Golden Artist Colors, Inc, and Jerry’s Artist Outlet in West Orange, which donated the paint and other materials for the project.
“My wife Barbara and I love this city,” said Mark Golden, a founder of Golden Artist Colors, Inc. “It has provided us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy all the area has to offer. We are delighted our company can participate in this amazing mural project.”