In the decades following the Civil War, Coster Avenuehidden away off a Gettysburg side streetlanguished as one of the least-visited parts of the Gettysburg National Military Park. In 1970, Mark H. Dunkelman, an artist and historian of the 154th New York, saw the roofing company that owned the property adjacent to Coster Avenue was building an addition to its warehouse. A blank concrete wall was going up about ten feet from the monument to the regiment he studied. Inspiration struck. Dunkelman designed a mural to cover the 80-feet-long wall. He and his artistic partner Johan Bjurman painted and installed the mural in 1988, the 125th anniversary of the battle. In the years since then, as exposure took its toll on the painting, Dunkelman and Bjurman produced two newer versions of the mural, the current one rendered on glass.
In Gettysburg’s Coster Avenue: The Brickyard Fight and the Mural, Dunkelman tells the little-known story of the battle that inspired the mural and the saga of how the painting came to be and its several permutations. Published on the mural’s thirtieth anniversary, this book includes more than fifty photographs, many in color and previously unpublished, a map, and source notes to the text. Gettysburg’s Coster Avenue is the definitive account of this much admired public artwork, told by the mural’s creator in his own words.