Old Fassett’s wall turned into art
BY PATRICK LEONARD
Wyoming County Press Examiner
For all those Wyoming County residents who have been bristling with curiosity over what was taking place at the building on the corner of East Tioga and Bridge Streets, they finally had the chance to see for themselves last Sunday.
On September 30, Carlos Penedos revealed what he had been working on for almost six weeks, displaying his new outside wall to the people of Tunkhannock.
“The building hadn’t been painted since 1975 and I wanted to add something to bring some vibrancy to the town,” Penedos remarked. “I didn’t want people to see it until it was completed so we covered it up. So far, the response from people has been overwhelming.”
Penedos, who works as a general contractor, painted the wall himself, along with his brother Joe. The previous color of the wall had been tan. Penedos said he wanted to paint the wall in a way that had historic value while not coming across as too flashy.
“The metal sunflowers had been on the building since it was put up in 1900 but they were always painted over,” Penedos pointed out. “No one even knew they were there. I wanted to bring those out and then I just ran with a sunflower theme. Leigh Pawling is the artist that painted them.
“I was fearful of it being too flamboyant; I was stressed out about it.” Penedos added. “But I had good people helping me pick out the colors and they made me feel comfortable with my choices. Everything meshed nicely together and I’ve had people thanking me since we unveiled it. I’ve seen other people smile or take pictures of the wall. That means a lot to me.”
Penedos bought the building from the late John Antosh back in 2008. He rents out space to the Lenahan and Dempsey Law office, whom he says are wonderful for the money they have donated to the community and for the services they offer people, and to Kitson and Company Art Gallery.
“I think I can offer the area a lot because I have seen what can happen to a town if you don’t pay attention,” said Penedos, noting that he has been to 49 states and 12 countries. “I choose to live in Tunkhannock because I love it here but we need to let progress in. Growth is good.”
Penedos was born in Portugal as one of four sons to his parents, Jaime and Maria Luisa. His family moved to New Jersey when he was young, and Penedos and his brothers grew up in Edison. He first moved to Wyoming County in 1976 when he bought a home in Tunkhannock.
“I had a good feel for the area right way,” Penedos noted. “I liked the people.”
A self described art lover, Penedos remarked that when he first moved to Tunkhannock, the town was not as culturally stimulated as it is today. He gives the credit to one man in particular for leading the town into a new era of artistic growth.
“Rich Santee was an icon,” Penedos said excitedly. “My one regret is that he didn’t get to see the building like this. When people say that he would have loved the place, that makes me feel good.”
Penedos, 57, said that his newest renovation project is not his last. He has some more plans for his building, which he says are a secret for now but that people will get to enjoy in the near future.
He believes that many of the residents of Tunkhannock appreciate what he is doing for the community.
“People feared me when I first moved here,” Penedos stated. “I talked too fast and I had too many wild ideas. I think people get me now and they trust me. They know I’m not trying to change them but just bring a little change to the town.”
A slight smile and a twinkle in his eye were evident on Penedos’ face when he added, “The new wall is just a touch of what I want to do. I have a lot more to do in my building and in this town.”