Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
May 23, 2024 ·  3 min read

A Couple Renovating A 115-Year-Old Building Discovered Two 60-Foot-Long Hidden Murals

A couple’s efforts in trying to transform a historic building into a bar led to some interesting findings. During the renovations, they discovered several murals on the northern and southern walls of the building. With the discovery of these 60-foot paintings, one can understand that efforts shifted from renovation to restoration. This building was purchased by Lisa and Nick Timm in Okanogan, Washington- just four hours from Seattle.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, Nick stated, “We were about 20 minutes from covering up the walls. I then was like, ‘Well, let’s just look at what’s behind all this plaster.”’ When they finally ripped off all the plaster- they found the mural sitting at 60 feet by 20 feet on the walls. They discovered another mural on the opposite wall as well.

One of the immense murals.
Image Credits: Nick Timm

The excitement of the discovery allowed the team to work for four more hours. Nick mentioned, “It was like a lightning bolt of energy. We were just hooting and hollering and pulling things down.” This entire discovery can be attributed to fate. The Timms had moved back to the city in 2021 to look after Nick’s father. Unfortunately, he died of lung cancer in September 2021.

After his father’s passing, a family friend asked the couple to invest in the building. Nick mentioned, “One of our main goals moving back was to reenergize Okanogan, and then this happened.” The building is over a century old. And during its time, it had served as a pool hall, a movie theater, and even a rooster fighting rink. 

Read: Perfectly preserved ancient Roman mosaic floor discovered in Italy

Couple Discover Murals In A Century Old Rundown Building

The couple had the desire to turn in Nick’s experience of managing bars to own their own. The husband said, “It’s funny how this worked out. We were going to make it a historical showcase by bringing in a bunch of historical stuff about the area.” After this discovery, the Okanogan County Historical Society managed to find a newspaper clipping from 1915. The clipping spoke about the original plans for these murals. It read, “The new improvements at the Hub (the Hub theatre) include 120 feet of panoramic landscape scenery in light tans.

Currently, the restoration process will be moving forward with speed. Nick stated that a couple of sections of the murals had been damaged through the water. Therefore, they were looking for it to get restored as soon as possible. Needless to say, the entire process can get too expensive. And this is why the couple has put forward a GoFundMe page in order to garner support from their community. 

Read: World’s Oldest Water Lies At The Bottom Of A Canadian Mine And Is 2 Billion Years Old

The diversified use of the building over the last 110+ years is definitely interesting. Nick Timm mentioned, “We found a whole room full of wooden cages in the basement and assumed they were for chickens but we spoke to a local who was 92 recently and discovered it was actually cold storage for the kinds of foods we might keep in our fridges. People could rent space here in the basement.

With the preservation of the murals being quite a pricey affair, it is quite a matter of good fortune that the couple has been receiving donations from all over the world. Lisa Timm managed to raise a sum of $50,000 in just a week. “We even got a donation from someone in Spain.” Nick Timm mentioned, “To our knowledge, it’s the largest, oldest, and most intact of its kind.” Goes without saying, this bar will definitely pay tribute to the history of the place. The Timms have already named the establishment “The Red Light Bar”. The name salutes the lone red light of the town.

Keep Reading: The Volkswagen Type 2 Bus: A Timeless Classic, Check out What This Vehicle Looks like with the VW Beetle Painted on It


  1. A couple renovating a 115-year-old building discovered two 60-foot-long hidden murals.” CNN. Sara Smart. January 27, 2022.
  2. Couple renovating historic Okanogan building uncovers handpainted mural from 1917.” King5. Chris Cashman. February 1, 2022.