The Davenport Street Mural at Porter Square

Hi Ruth,


Thanks so much for your note about the Davenport Street Mural, which as you know was created by the muralist Joshua Winer in partnership with the Cambridge Arts Council, Porter Square Neighborhood Association and Gravestar, Inc. Because the mural is on private property, it is not formally owned or cared for by the City of Cambridge. Instead, the Porter Square Shopping Center provided the funding and artistic supplies to support the creation and ongoing care and maintenance of the mural. Given that, the mural was never a part of the mapping and information that we manage directly via Cambridge Arts. Some additional information on the artwork can be found on Josh’s artist website as follows: (Joshua Winer/Mural Arts website)


The earliest components of this mural were developed as far back as 1977 (Saginaw Avenue portion/Jeff Oberdorfer, artist). A newer component was added at the head of Orchard Street about a decade later in 1989 and featured the Rand Estate and incorporating human figures (Mass College of Art, Al Gowan and Lisa Carter, artists). This particular component was directly funded by the Cambridge Arts Council, but still owned by Gravestar, Inc. The final and largest component of the architectural mural was designed by Joshua Winer and completed in 2000. This component extended the mural to the full extent of the building façade and also incorporated residents of the neighborhood – individuals and families living in the houses directly across Davenport Street from the mural – dressed in period attire. 


Formally, the mural is owned by Gravestar, Inc. and the Porter Square Shopping Center, LLC. Along those lines, that is where the discussion about additions to the mural and ongoing care and maintenance generally begins and our contact there is Carole Montgomery who I know you are already familiar with.  



Joshua Winer, Artist

Mural Arts

Phone: 781/788-8700




We are in the process at Cambridge Arts of working with the City’s Internet & Technology department to do a full update of the online public art mapping and reference materials. Unfortunately with the transition to the latest content management system, the map in its current state was no longer readable. Hopefully, we will be able to get this prioritized and updated as quickly as possible. As part of that work, we can look into whether we can include information about the mural and its various components. 


I am so very glad to know that Josh and Carole are moving ahead with the addition of Al to the mural. That is so very appropriate given his amazing and successful advocacy for the mural in all of its stages through the years! 


Best regards,


Jason Weeks

Executive Director

Cambridge Arts Council 



344 Broadway, 2nd Floor

Cambridge, MA  02139

p 617/349-4383 f 617/349-4669

tty 617/349-4621


Cambridge Arts Logo - Small