Welcome to Jackson Square! You’ve walked out of the station, past the bus lane and between the painted columns just outside the doors. You’re at the busy intersection of Lamartine Street and Centre Street; across the lanes of traffic is the ‘Welcome to Jackson Square’ mural, painted by Alex Cook in 2015. Alex lives in Jamaica Plain and has done several murals in the neighborhood. You will see another one of his murals next up in the tour!
The mural features greetings in half a dozen languages; ‘welcome’ in Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Catalan, and Somali. The words ‘We are Family’ are spelled out in swooping orange letters - a true testament to the community found in Boston’s Latin Quarter. With it’s looping letters and bright colors, you’re getting a taste of the vibrancy of this diverse neighborhood!
Before creating the mural, Alex got feedback from residents living in the Mildred Hailey Apartments and their input became the inspiration for the phrase “We are Family.” Alex says, “It was a perfect visual balance for the words ‘Welcome to Jackson Square.’ I think it is the heart of that mural. All of the images incorporated are informed by the feeling of family- the gardening, baseball, neighborhood, musicians-they all take on a deeper feeling of love and inclusion because of that phrase.”
Once you are done looking at the mural, turn right up Centre Street; at the corner you should see Il Panino restaurant. (If you’re looking for a hearty calzone or a cannoli to go, you’re in the right spot!) Walk in that direction, past the laundromat, and the next spot on the tour is hard to miss!