BALTIMORE (WNEW) — The iconic whale mural along Russell Street in Baltimore is being restored and preserved after owners of the building learned its background.

The mural on a warehouse owned by St. John Properties at Russell and Hamberg streets depicts extinct Atlantic Gray whales. It’s number 46 in a series of 100 painted by artists and environmentalist, Robert Wyland.

When the company’s Al Cunniff discovered that fact, he tells WNEW’s Karen Adams that he knew they had to restore and preserve it.

It was dedicated back in 1993. Cunniff says Wyland wanted to paint this mural on a wall at Baltimore’s National Aquarium, but the idea was rejected.

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WNEW’s Karen Adams contributed to this report. Follow her and WNEW on Twitter.