Lynn, the North Shore’s largest city, is transitioning from a historic manufacturing hub to a vibrant live/work and commuter community with a diverse population. The city is rich in architecture, culture and history. Most of the former industrial buildings have been transformed into housing or are used commercially. Lynn also has a burgeoning Arts & Cultural District comprised of several institutions that have become central components of Lynn’s identity. Inspired by impactful urban art installations in cities like London and Miami, North Shore resident Al Wilson envisioned a large-scale art initiative in Downtown Lynn that would serve as a catalyst to activate the under-utilized, post-industrial streetscape into a dynamic and vibrant destination for aficionados, tourists and local residents. Responding to the community’s desire to increase foot traffic, improve public safety, and enhance the downtown’s reputation, Beyond Walls Lynn was launched: a proposal to install dynamic LED lighting under the elevated MBTA tracks, an exhibition of vintage neon signage, the creation of large-scale murals, and placement of an outdoor sculpture.
Beyond Walls is a group comprised of Lynn residents, business owners, and public art/placemaking enthusiasts using grassroots efforts to create a sense of place and safety in the heart of Downtown Lynn. Seeded by “Commonwealth Places,” a crowd-funding initiative sponsored by MassDevelopment, Beyond Walls’ support has grown beyond expectations through donations from the public, philanthropists, manufacturers, vendors, suppliers, trade unions, and art lovers.
Several vintage neon signs have been installed at the Prime Manufacturing building, 545 Washington St. A juried selection of local and internationally renowned mural artists, representative of Lynn’s culturally diverse population, install their art from July 13-23. On July 22 Beyond Walls presents “Rock the Block,” a street festival featuring bands, DJs, craft beer, live art, vendors, and food trucks. The underpass lighting is underway and a sculpture paying homage to Lynn’s rich industrial history as the home of General Electric’s Aviation division will be sited downtown.
Committed to retaining the voice, integrity and pride of its residents, Beyond Walls is designed to ensure that Lynn is recognized as a cultural and artistic hub with a vibrant local economy. We invite you to share in the excitement, explore our downtown shops and cultural attractions, enjoy cuisine from around the world, and meet our residents and neighbors. From lifelong Lynners, to new arrivals, to fans of the city near and far, welcome to Beyond Walls Lynn
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