The Lost Mural is a symbolic religious painting that was part of the interior decoration at the former Chai Adam Synagogue on Hyde Street in Burlington. The mural encompassed three large triangular panels and adjacent areas that formed the ceiling vault of the synagogue’s apse. The apse projected out from the Ark (east) wall. In 1939, Chai Adam closed and its congregation merged with the older Ohavi Zedek Synagogue.
The former Chai Adam building was subsequently used for a variety of purposes, including as a carpet store and warehouse, where project co-director Aaron Goldberg first saw the mural more than thirty years ago. In 1986, before the former synagogue was sold and turned into an apartment building, Goldberg and others took measures so that the surviving painted decoration would not be destroyed but, rather, walled over to protect the work. The mural was then largely forgotten. In 2012, when the building was again sold, the wall was opened and the “Lost Shul Mural” was revealed for the first time in decades – now in a much-deteriorated condition. Nevertheless, the decision was made to save it by conserving it and then moving it to a new home – a task that has now been accomplished.