Downtown Murals bring life to Renton’s blank walls

You may have noticed that Renton’s Downtown has experienced the painting of several new murals on building walls over the past several years.  These murals are the result of diligent efforts of building owners, Arts Commission, City of Renton, many community organizations and partners, and very talented and dedicated artists. The City, project team, and downtown community believe in supporting local artists and in the power of placemaking as a tool for community and economic development.  Next time you’re in downtown Renton keep your eyes peeled for existing murals and new projects!

Do you have an idea for a mural? Reach out to the Renton Municipal Arts Commission to let them know what you have in mind!  Email for more information.

Who is Boom Boom? 

Daniel Victor “Boone” Kirkman is a former amateur and professional heavyweight boxer.  Also fighting under the nickname of “Boom Boom,” he fought during the same era of George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Frasier, which is often credited as one of the greatest heavyweight eras of all time.  Kirkman moved to Renton, where his grandfather originally settled, at a young age and stills lives here.  His family owned a local pub, the Melrose Tavern, which is now the Melrose Grill and located a half block south of the mural location.

Some of Kirkman’s boxing career highlights include:

  • Won the AAU Heavyweight Boxing national title in 1965.
  • Finished his professional boxing career with a record of 36-6 (1966-1978).
  • Significant opponents during his career included George Foreman, Jack O’Halloran, and Ken Norton.

Kirkman’s post-boxing career life has included working for the Boeing company and enjoying hiking and mountaineering. He has scaled all of Washington’s most famous mountain peaks:  Rainier, Baker, Adams and Saint Helens.

Location:  The mural location is the south wall of a building that fronts the southwest corner of S. 3rd Street and Wells Avenue.  The south wall is prominently located just north of the Post Office, just south of S. 3rd Street (Downtown’s main street), and adjacent to numerous popular cafes including Melrose Grill, Marianna Ristorante, Cedar River Smokehouse Barbecue, and Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes.  At the foot of the wall is a recent landscape art installation by the Arts Commission, completed as part of its award-winning Galvanizing Arts Project.

Read more about the project in this article by the Renton Reporter.


Mural on Whistle Stop Ale House in downtown Renton, WA.
Designed by Marsha Rollinger, painted by Marsha Rollinger and Mary Clymer


The B & W: "The B&W" by Andrew MorrisonA 1900’s B&W Seaplane by Andrew Morrison

The owner of the Old City Hall Building (David Smith), located in the 200 block of Wells Avenue S, commissioned artist and muralist Andrew Morrison

( to improve the once plain and uninspiring wall along the property’s south side with a mural.  While standing in the adjacent parking lot every day, you can see seaplanes and other planes coming and going in the skies above.  This served as the project’s inspiration.

The mural depicts an early 1900’s B&W Seaplane breaking through a concrete block wall with a blue sky background–a nod to the histories of both The Boeing Company and the site as the seaplane and building were built approximately at the same time.  Boeing is Renton’s largest employer.  Mr. Smith completed a major renovation of the property in 2009.

The artist at work on the creation of “Transformation”


“I really love designs that juxtapose opposites in some way, while making them congruent. This mural, Transformation, is a mix of old and new, like the building itself—a historic building getting a modern update. I decided on a pattern that started off structured on the alley end near S 3rd St, but then the shapes blow away like petals in the wind farther down the alley, another play on opposites—structured becoming more organic.”

-Marsha Rollinger

The title Transformation, refers to the transformation of the building, the alley, as well as Renton’s Downtown itself. Transformation was entirely hand-painted by graphic artist Marsha Rollinger, and commissioned by Dave and Monica Brethauer, owners of the Cortona building.

Located on the north side of South 3rd Street between Burnett and Williams, the Cortona Building was recently rehabilitated to house new retail businesses. The former Woolworth’s building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Location: 601 South 3rd building, on the Smithers Ave side; the south wall of Burger Town. The painted blocks spell “COLOR” in Morse code.  The top row are the dashes, the bottom row the dots.  Painted by Marsha Rollinger and Mary Clymer.