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public art TOUR


Public art at its best is like a book a community has written together. It preserves important memories of the past, provides a means for reflection, and captures an ever unfolding narrative of a place and its people.

This tour was researched and developed by Mimi Graney.  Mimi is the Civic Design and Community Engagement Strategist for the City of Chelsea. Her work focuses on using shared public space as a means of building a stronger, more connected community.

This tour is also available in Spanish. 

Directorio de Recorridos a Pie en Español

electric chicken.jpg
Walking Stop #1

501 broadway

CIVil war memorial by franklin simmons

The figurative sculpture, and presumably the sculpture’s overall design, is attributed to Franklin Simmons, a prominent America sculptor of the 19th century. A native of Maine, Simmons moved to Washington, D.C. during the Civil War where he achieve renown for busts and sculptures of national political leaders. His commissions include the Peace Monument in Washington, D.C., the seated portrait of George Washington for the Valley Forge Chapel and the statue of Ulysses S. Grant in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building.
In 1868, Chelsea’s monument was sited in Union Park which was once on Arlington Street between Fifth and Sixth Street. In the aftermath of the Great Chelsea Fire, the monument was moved in 1911 to its present location in Bellingham Square.  Learn more from the Massachusetts Civil War Monuments Project.

Walking Stop #2

Broadway at hawthorne street 

Bellingham Square by Mags Harries

A collection of small bronze sculptures including a grocery bag, coffee cup and orange peel near the gazebo and across the street at the bus stop are by Mags Harries and were part of a revitalization effort of the downtown in the late 1970s.  Several of the pieces have been lost over time during bench and sidewalk repairs.
Mags Harries’ public art projects have received national recognition and have won many awards. She observes the small things that, like DNA, reveal all that is important to know about a place. She uses surprise and sometimes humor to energize public places and communities. 

Walking Stop #3

Division Street starting at hawthorne street​ 

Division Street Neighborway by Multiple Artists

Since 2019 progressive efforts have transformed Division Street from a grubby alley into an art-lined Neighborway.


Works in 2019 focused on the block of Division Street between Hawthorne and Fourth Street. The efforts this year were coordinated by Neighborways Design. 


  • Electric Chicken by Liz LaManche

  • Tu Casa Mural by Liz LaManche with community members

  • Save the Bees by Max Pro (completed 2020)

  • Royalty by Sinai Galicia

  • Light Bulb by Max Pro

  • Fruit Salad by Sury Chavez

  • Art Panels by members of the Chelsea Senior Center

  • Mother Earth by Nelson Saldana

  • Community Art Panels by Liz LaManche with community members

  • You are Loved by Alex Cook

For 2020 the works were concentrated between Fourth and Congress Street. Coordinators this year were Amanda Hill and Carolyn Lewenberg.

  • Onward by Nelson Saldana

  • Lotus by The Sirens Crew

  • Coffee Farmers by Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola

  • Llama Farm by Demetrius Fuller

In 2021 the artwork is focused on the roadway itself. The overall design was overseen by Liz LaManche with Neighborways Design. Several Neighborway artists returned to extend their motifs including Sury Chavez, Max Pro, Nelson Saldana and The Sirens Crew. 

Walking Stop #4

Pearl Street at essex street​ 

Chelsea Resilient by Silvia Lopez Chavez

The mural is the result of a collaboration between Chelsea artist Silvia Lopez Chavez, GreenRoots’s ECO Youth Crew, City of Chelsea and ROCA with financial support of the Chelsea Cultural Council.

Inspiration for this mural comes from the people of Chelsea, who, as a community, come together to lift each other, working in unity to thrive during challenging times. The imagery features diverse hands modeled by Chelsea youth. The hands hold flags with words in ten different languages currently spoken in Chelsea: Resilience, unity (Spanish), perseverance (French Creole), pride (Portuguese), diversity (Chinese), togetherness (Vietnamese), strength (Hindi), determination (Somali), and courage (Amharic). A garden of national flowers blooms across the wall representing 33 countries of origin and foreign-born residents in Chelsea's demographics. The mural celebrates the diverse people of Chelsea, shining a joyful light on the resilience and collective strength that makes this community so beautiful.

Walking Stop #5

chelsea square between second street and the fountain 

Bronze crabs

Embedded into the brick sidewalk of the park you'll discover a series of bronze crab sculptures. Created by the artist David Phillips in 1977, these were installed as part of the restoration of the park and an investment in public art. 

They can be a little tricky to find in person.  Stand on Second Street between the two sections of the Chelsea Square Park and walk towards the fountain.  They are just steps off the sidewalk. 

Walking Stop #6

chelsea square 

stebbins Fountain 

Constructed in 1897, the Stebbins Fountain is so named for banker and mayor of Chelsea Isaac Stebbins. He provided $7,000 (about $220,000 in today's dollars) in his will to construct it.  It's made of Milford granite.

The general shape of Chelsea Square with two teardrop areas of grass enclosed with curbing date back to the 1860s. Part of a national movement for open-air in the heart of the city, the area was defined as public open space under the administration of Mayor John W. Fletcher. Thirty years later, the Stebbins Fountain was installed in the space between these green areas in what was then a paved, curb-less area used by horse-drawn carriages and wagons, trolleys and pedestrians.  The siting was constrained to meet the mandate of Stebbins' will that the fountain "shall be constructed so that both man and beast might drink from it."


Mayor Herman Pratt oversaw the completion of the Chelsea Square project. At the dedication, orator for the event Rev Mr Jefferson said, "A new spirit is abroad now...It is an idea cut in stone that every man owes something to the city in which he lives, and that he ought to leave his mark in the city where he has made his living. Let us give our all to make Chelsea what she ought to be."


During his lifetime, Stebbins was responsible for the construction of nearby buildings known as the Stebbins Blocks.  The properties at 210 -216 Winnisimmet were built around 1850 and 218-230 Winnisimmet around 1860. 

The 1908 fire destroyed many civic buildings in the City but was stopped just at the edge of Chelsea Square near the intersection of Winnisimmet and Broadway.  The historic buildings in Chelsea Square represent the scale of construction in the late 19th century in the city.

Walking Stop #7

chelsea square near the fountain​ 

chelsea conversation by penelope jencks

In 1976, as part of a downtown revitalization project, two percent of the construction budget was set aside for public art. Penelope Jencks was one of three sculptors commissioned to create works reflecting the character of Chelsea. The piece was installed in 1978.
In this trio of life-size sculptures, the older male figure is Roman F. Pucko, a beloved instructor at Chelsea High School, and the young man is local track star Bobby Goss. Both were recognizable people in the city when the artwork was created. The young girl is a portrait of Jencks’ own daughter. 
Jencks' notable sculptures include the statue for the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument located in New York City's Riverside Park, said to be the first monument dedicated to an American president's wife, the statue of historian Samuel Elliott Morrison on Boston's Commonwealth Avenue Mall, and the Robert Frost sculpture at Amherst College. Chelsea Conversation received a Commendation for Design Excellence from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Walking Stop #8

chelsea square ​ 

General Casimir Pulaski mONUMENT

This monument was tribute from the Polish immigrants who lived in Chelsea in the early and mid twentieth century. Casimir Pulaski was born in Poland, in a family of knights, and by his early 20s in battles across Europe had demonstrated his military talent. Crossing the Atlantic, he fought beside General Washington in the war for American Independence. Known as the "The Father of the American Cavalry" he created and led the Pulaski Legion.

The silver eagle atop the statue is a symbol taken from the coat of arms of Poland.  


The inscription on the monument reads: "Dedicated November 22, 1931, by the Polish People of Chelsea to General Casimir Pulaski, gallant son and Poland, soldier and patriot, whose sword helped to establish the American Republic and whose devotion to the cause of human freedom was sealed with his lifeblood at Savannah, GA. October 11, 1779.


On the other side of Chelsea Square there once stood a comparable monument to Christopher Columbus, installed by representative of Italian immigrant community. Both monuments served a similar purpose as these marginalized immigrant groups sought to demonstrate their long ties to the American story and claim a central place in civic life. 

Walking Stop #9

second street at Cherry Street

hola mi Gente by yenny Hernandez

Yenny Hernandez is a Graphic Designer who lives in Salem, MA. She often combines colorful palettes inspired by her Caribbean heritage with messages that speak to the Latino community. The mural design for this property is a lush dark jungle with vibrant, large letters proclaiming 'Hola Mi Gente' which translates to “Hello my people.” The artist’s goal is to create a moment of identification, especially for the Spanish-speaking community, and a feeling of being seen and welcomed.  The mural is on the Second Street side of Rincon Hondureño restaurant. 

Painted in 2020.

Walking Stop #10

cherry street at everett avenue

chelsea right now by demetrius fuller

Demetrius Fuller captured elements of the neighborhood like the Stebbins Fountain and historic architecture in his mural on the corner of Cherry Street. Demetrius is an art instructor with Chelsea Public Schools.


Funding for the mural was provided by the Chelsea Cultural Council.

Walking Stop #11

everett avenue under route one

tobin bridge by caleb neelon

This was the first mural in Chelsea's downtown, created by Caleb Neelon as part of the now defunct cultural event called the Chelsea Art Walk.  
Works by the Cambridge based artist can be found all around the world. In the 1990s, Neelon was immersed in the global graffiti scene under the name SONIK and his vivid, homespun, and raw style of mixed media street art was developed in cities from Kathmandu to São Paulo. His writing documents the art, artists, and history of his global community. He has authored or collaborated on over two dozen books, including with Roger Gastman for the 2011 HarperCollins release "The History of American Graffiti."

Walking Stop #12

everett avenue under route one

knowledge seeker by nelson saldana

With a grant award from the Chelsea Cultural Council, Chelsea artist Nelson Saldana created this mural in 2020. The young man, holding "the golden rope of ambition" is engaged in a tug of war with an all-knowing owl struggling to keep the book-of-everything to itself. The young man's hunger and pursuit for wisdom promises to lift him from chaos to a higher place of infinite possibilities. 
Saldana is inspired by the grace and rich meaning to be found in Renaissance art and mythology as well as the dynamic color and boldness of contemporary graphic novels and street artists.  

Walking Stop #13

chelsea walk pedestrian walk at 422 Broadway

city of dreams by Silvia López Chavez

“City of Dreams,” takes inspiration from the diverse multi-cultural background of Chelsea’s people. The imagery honors Chelsea’s historic and present architecture, celebrating its resilience and capacity to re-build and dream big. It also borrows the bright hues of textile patterns from countries around the world. An abstracted wave of water connects the colorful structures, flowing down like a ‘good stream’ under the buildings, also making reference to “Winnisemet,” the native name for this area prior to being named Chelsea.

This mural was commissioned and produced by GreenRoots, in partnership with the City of Chelsea, through a MassDevelopment grant, and the generous support of businesses, residents, and friends of Chelsea.  Completed in 2019 along with new decorated panels overhead.

Silvia López Chavez is a Dominican-American, Chelsea based artist with an impressive resume as a seasoned community-based artist and a frequent collaborator with urban planners, architects, non-profits, developers, and activists. Her public art projects include murals on the Charles River Esplanade in tandem with Now + There Inc., Harvard University, Northeastern University, Punto Urban Art Museum, Barr Foundation, HUBweek, Boston Children’s Museum, Underground InkBlock and the Cambridge Public Library. 

Find two other murals by Silvia on the side of ROCA at  99 Pearl Street and at residential building at 140 Pearl. 

Walking Stop #14

luther place on cherry street between Fourth and Fifth Streets

Full Bloom, Para Las Mujeres de Chelsea by rixy fernandez

This wall of 456 Broadway overlooks the Luther Place parking lot and serves as the back drop for the stage at events in this location such as the Chelsea Night Market.

Artist Rixy Fernandez was born in Boston and raised in Las Vegas. She’s inspired by street art and is strongly influenced by muralist Lauren Ys (LOLO). She often explores her Asian-American heritage and the nature of femininity in her designs. Her mural on this site pays homage to the women of Chelsea. 

Painted in 2020.

Walking Stop #15

fifth street between broadway and arlington streets

sidewalk carvings by assorted youth artists

A series of stone relief carvings by Chelsea youth are placed within the sidewalk along the southwest side of Fifth Street. These were produced as part of a youth project by students at the Williams and Chelsea High Schools participating in a mentoring program that connected them with various local businesses such as Chelsea Clock and the New England Produce Center.  The program took place 1999 - 2002. 

Walking Stop #16

fifth street between broadway and cherry street

chelsea resilient : Call & Response through the ages by david fichter

Installed in 2021, Chelsea Resilient: Call and Response Through the Ages is an 80-foot painted mural by David Fichter on aluminum panels. The artist is known for a distinctive, realistic style that features the people, architecture and other details reflective of the mural location. For over 30 years David Fichter has created community murals and mosaics.

Chelsea Resilient traces the rich history of this Massachusetts city from its beginnings as Winnisimmet, when Native American peoples fished and dug mussels on the banks of Chelsea Creek, to the urban, diverse city we know today. Across four centuries this community has repeatedly risen to overcome challenges and tragedies, responding with energy, heartfelt mutual concern, and an unquenchable drive to rebuild. The struggles and successes of each generation of Chelsea residents echo across history with a message of courage, determination, and optimism. Our past, present and future are linked in a continuous call to action and grassroots response, the defining character of Chelsea and its people. See more on the mural's webpage.

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