The Hoosierist: Jiffy Lube Murals

Jiffy Lube murals, high school hoops, and Old City Hall. Ask The Hoosierist.
Q: What’s up with the new murals on the Indy-area Jiffy Lubes?
A: The Hoosierist has also noticed that many of the city’s quick-change oil places are now adorned with murals of remarkably high quality. Turns out the shops’ owner, Jiffy Lube of Indiana president Steve Sanner, enjoys public art almost as much as he admires a clean, 20-minute customer turnaround. Sanner, who owns 48 Jiffy Lubes (28 in Central Indiana) got ticked when his Broad Ripple store was tagged with graffiti. But instead of installing surveillance cameras, he decided to commission a mural that taggers would be too ashamed to deface. He liked the results so much that he has had them painted on nine stores so far, and plans half a dozen more every year until he runs out of wall space. Someday, no kidding, he’d even like to create a Jiffy Lube Cultural Trail so that art fans (or, perhaps, grease-pit aficionados) can tour them all.

Q:What was the biggest year for high school basketball in Indiana?
A: Not surprisingly, deciding which year offered Peak Hoosier Basketball is tough. Even Jason Wille, Indiana High School Athletic Association sports information director, scratches his head. His suggestions include 1969’s tournament, in which the four teams in the finals boasted a cumulative record of 110 wins and just one loss. Or perhaps 1990, when Bedford North Lawrence phenom Damon Bailey won the state championship at the Hoosier Dome. “The crowd was 41,046 for that game,” Wille says. “That’s a national high school record that I’m not sure will ever be broken.” Or perhaps 1955, when Crispus Attucks High School (led by Oscar Robertson) took the first of its back-to-back titles. Of course, the blue-and-gold elephant in the room is little Milan High School’s 1954 championship. How many high school seasons get made into Hollywood classics?

Q: With the hotel idea on hold, are there any plans for Old City Hall?
A: The report from the city: Stay tuned for further developments. In other words, the same thing that has been said since Old City Hall, the seat of city government until 1962, was shuttered. Various reuse concepts have been floated and failed, including the recent effort to turn it into a 21c Museum Hotel. The problem is that the building is weird inside. There’s a multi-story atrium in the middle that plays havoc with floor plans. The city, which spends $100,000 each year maintaining the place, would love to find a use. The hottest current prospect? Turning it back into a government building. With city courts scheduled to depart for a new location, there’s a chance Old City Hall might become City Hall once again.


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Illustration by Nate Kitch