DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A popular Deep Ellum mural is no more, after a real estate management company painted over it Friday morning. It was a tribute to veterans.

The mural that took Preston Pannek seven days to paint was erased in just hours.

Veterans Mural

It was a very emotional day for him, seeing the empty wall for the first time.

Pannek’s heart is heavy, after his mural vanished under a coat of black paint.

mural painted over

“I would call it a slap in the face to veterans, especially the way they did it,” said Preston. “They painted over the American flag. They did it a couple of days before July 4. There’s no reason for it.”

Seeing the blank canvas brought tears to his eyes.

“Sorry guys,” said Pannek. “I’m just so surprised they picked this mural to take down. This was supposed to show everybody that these are kids fighting for us. And they’re just out there trying to have a good time.”

The assistant general manager of The Green Room said Westdale Asset Management owns the property. He says the company didn’t give the owner a reason why it had the mural painted black.

Community members are desperate for answers.

“Ownership’s free to do what they want with their property, but it’s unfortunate,” says Sean Fitzgerald, who works near The Green Room.

Pannek didn’t get much from Westdale’s Property Manager.

“He said, ‘Preston, let me go ahead and tell you that it’s already done. It’s gone.’ I’m like, are you kidding me? He’s like, “No, we took it down this morning.”

The mural was based off a photograph – captured by a Dallas native and veteran.

“The photo represents some young Marines out in the middle of desert storm break dancing,” explained Pannek.

The spirit of the mural lives on in the heart of a community, now mourning its loss.

CBS11 reached out to Westdale to get their response, but have not yet heard back.

Pannek hopes he can paint the mural back on this wall or maybe another one in the future.