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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Inman Square Fire Station Mural

Cambridge is full of wonderful murals and the large mural above the fire station in Inman Square is hard to miss.

Even so, I have to confess to not really looking carefully at it until I took a tour of Inman Square led by Krystyna Colburn as part of Cambridge Discovery Days this summer.  Colburn pointed out two fun elements of the mural that I had never noticed – more about that later.

Inman Square Fire Station Mural

Inman Square Fire Station Mural


Engine Company No. 5 Mural

Artist Ellary Eddy was chosen to paint the mural after the Cambridge Arts Council held a competition for local artists.  The mural was painted in 1980 and restored, also by Eddy, in 1999. It is three times life size and depicts the firefighters of Engine Company No. 5.

What’s the secret of the fire station mural?  Well, there are two surprises in the mural.

Second from left is George Washington holding a pail.  Washington appears in the mural to commemorate the time he spent in Cambridge during the Revolution when what we now call the Longfellow House served as his headquarters during the Seige of Boston.   Washington also earned his place in the mural from his service as a volunteer firefighter in Virginia.  He’s behind the fire station’s dalmation.

George Washington in the Fire Station mural in Inman Square

George Washington in the Fire Station mural in Inman Square


The other surprise in the mural is Benjamin Franklin who stands on the fire engine’s running board.  Eddy painted Ben Franklin in red hightop sneakers.   Franklin never lived in Cambridge but earned his place on the mural as the founder of the first volunteer fire department in 1736.

Benjamin Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company

Benjamin Franklin founded the first volunteer fire company


 Check it out the next time you’re in Inman Square.

The Inman Square Fire Station Mural is on the west wall of the Inman Square firehouse at the intersection of Hampshire Street and Cambridge Street.

Categories: Area Info

  1. Albert C. Blevins,Jr.

    Albert H. Blevins was my great uncle. My father, Albert was the proprietor of John J. Blevins, Roofer on Austin Street in Cambridge. He succeeded his father John A. Blevins, brother of Albert H. in the firm. My brother Clayton C. Blevins was inspired by his great uncle and attended the Rhode Island School of Design.

    I knew of the firm of Newhall and Blevins but never realized the extent of their work in Cambridge until my daughter Anne M. Blevins, attending an architectural class at Harvard, told me of the fire station in Inman Square and other buildings they had designed.

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Thanks so much for stopping by and explaining more about the Blevins family in Cambridge. The number of buildings designed by Newhall and Blevins in Cambridge is really amazing. What a legacy they left! I plan to do a post soon about another one of theirs that I came across in Cambridgeport during the If This House Could Talk event.

  3. Dwyndlelee

    Is there any info on the bas-relief sculptured lintels above the engine doors? It is clearly socialist-realist in style, but I’ve just spent a 1/2 hour googling it and can’t find a name for the sculptor!

  4. Elizabeth Bolton

    That sounds like a good question for the Cambridge Historical Commission. They have excellent resource files on most older Cambridge buildings.

  5. Jamie Hovis

    To Dwyndlelee and anyone else on here still wondering: I sent an email to the wonderful Emily Gonzalez at the Cambridge Historical Commission and she got back with some primary source documents! The bas-reliefs were designed sometime around late 1913 by a company called the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company in New York. They depict the various stages of the history of the fire engine and the images were inspired by old prints and contemporary illustrations in various catalogues.

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