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Divine mural on a Baltimore rowhouse is here to stay, historic preservation panel rules

Divine is in Midtown-Belvedere to stay after Baltimore’s historic preservation commission approved a mural of the drag queen and actor Tuesday.

The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation OK’d the Preston Street mural retroactively after a Midtown-Belvedere couple commissioned the painting on the side of their house without permission from the city.

The commission gave its stamp of approval to the three-story painting at a public hearing Tuesday, planning department assistant director Laurie Feinberg confirmed.

Typically the commission must authorize murals before they are painted on the exterior of properties in Baltimore’s historic districts or local landmarks. But married couple Jesse Salazar and Tom Williams did not receive approval before commissioning Baltimore-based artist Gaia to paint the mural of the “Hairspray” star.

The mural received support from neighbors and filmmaker John Waters, whose films have featured Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead.

“I think Preston Street now has the ultimate Neighborhood Watch,” he wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun. “No crime will happen with Divine on duty.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Brittany Britto contributed to this article.

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