Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What can Boston learn from Philadelphia?

How to create and maintain a landmark group of public murals, for one thing. Find the full story - complete with stunning photographs - in yesterday's New York Times.


  1. Jamaica Plain, Brookline, and Cambridgeport have their share of murals (though a lot of them seem connected with sponsoring businesses), but off the top of my head, I can't think of any other neighborhoods in the Boston Metropolitan area which accord such prominence to murals on their walls.

    The ones in Allston are almost entirely commercial.

  2. There are some nice big ones in the Central Square area, too - and I hope the one on the Inman Square firehouse house is still there. Nevertheless, the Philadelphia murals seem more ambitious, both artistically and socially (there's often neighborhood participation in the creation of the mural). It's just one more indication of the way in which Boston is falling behind in terms of its commitment to public art. Why isn't there a mural facing the Rose Kennedy Greenway, for instance? Indeed, why isn't there ANY major new public art on the Greenway?

  3. I was thinking of Central Square as part of the Cambridgeport neighborhood and, yes, the Inman Square firehouse mural is still very much a presence in the neighborhood.

    I do agree with you that very few of the murals that we do have in our neighborhoods show the ambition exhibited in the Philadelphia murals shown in the NYT article. In fact, some of the more ambitious (in design, though not technique) Boston murals I had seen were merely temporary efforts on boarded up buildings in Downtown Crossing or Dudley Square and thus, were never meant to be around for more than a few years.