In 1977, Porter Square resident Jeff Oberdorfer received a grant from the CAC to turn a large back wall of the shopping center into an extension of the neighborhood. Oberdorfer and a small group of dedicated neighbors painted a mural of triple-decker houses, very much like the abutting buildings. In 1984, the mural was restored by artist Lisa Carter, who added several figures to the scene.
In 1989 a second large mural was painted by students from Massachusetts College of Art under the supervision of Professor Al Gowan. The mural shows the Rand Estate, which used to be where the shopping center is now.
Finally, in 2000, muralist Joshua Winer turned a remaining 200-foot long stretch of the back wall into a lively neighborhood street scene with houses and gardens. Designed as a response to the character of the North Cambridge neighborhood, the mural references the architectural styles and history of Porter Square, including the area's cattle yards and the famous "Porterhouse Steak."
The first mural was funded through the U.S. Comprehensive Employment and Training Act and a U.S. Housing and Urban Development Quality of Life Grant. The second mural was funded through a grant fromt the Cambridge Arts Council, and the third mural was funded by Gravestar Incorporated.