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Roxbury Love now Roxbury dust as developer clears Warren Street parcel for apartment complex

Roxbury Love

Update: The mural will be recreated, city says.

Greg Cook reports a crew today demolished the Roxbury Love/Nelson Mandela mural on Warren Street at Clifford Street.

The demolition is part of Cruz Development Corp.'s start of a project to put up a two-building, 99-unit apartment complex that will also include enough space for the company, now based in John Eliot Square, to move into.

The mural went up in 2014. Its fate was actually sealed in 2016, when the BPDA approved Cruz's plans for the Dr. Michael E. Haynes Arms, named after Roxbury state representative and minister, for land that had been occupied by a church and several vacant buildings.

The first building, which will replace the mural building, will have 55 apartments in a four-story building with office space for Cruz to move into and a two-level, 74-space garage. Once that's finished, Cruz will erect a five-story building with 44 apartments for senior citizens on the Waverly Street side of the property.

Free tagging: 



It was up at 11AM and mostly gone by 12:30. We always knew it was going to happen but it was tough to watch.

Voting closed 26

I always hoped the church on the corner would turn back into a movie theater one day but those days have long passed.

Voting closed 18

If the developer had come from "outside" the community there is no way the neighborhood would have allowed the destruction of the mural. Makes me sad that the same standards of preservation don't apply to "local" developers. It's a gorgeous mural and I hope that Cruz and co have a plan to sponsor some similar artwork by other artists in the new space.

Voting closed 20

From what I've seen on Twitter, the local community is outraged and extremely disappointed in Cruz. Seems like folks were caught off guard with the removal of the mural.

Voting closed 16

Just because some are uninformed doesn't mean the community as a whole knew. There were meetings about this in 2018 and 2019 trying to decide what it was going to be. It was even reported on here. The thing is the building was an empty facade and the Roxbury Love mural (which was awesome) was a bandaid for a crumbling facade.

Voting closed 15

These guys are amazing artists and their work is a benefit to our city. I do wish this mural could have been saved.

Give a follow to @deme_phive on Instagram. He does amazing work.

Voting closed 28

There are no shortages of walls on Boston. There's only a shortage of support from city hall.

Enough statues of dead people. More artwork by the living.

Voting closed 41

I believe with careful consideration of the art work and the artist the mural should have been saved.

Voting closed 4

It sucks to lose that mural. I hope a new one can go up elsewhere in Roxbury. This is a very good project though.

Voting closed 18

What a shame. I wish the city would give these talented artists space to beautify the city. @Deme_phive is an amazingly talented artist.

Voting closed 15

Julia Mejia (at large) writes:

While I am relieved to know that a developer of color will be building affordable housing it would have been helpful if we could have figured out a way to preserve this iconic mural.

Like so many others I am mourning the loss of this mural! Hoping we can all walk away with lessons learned. The removal of this symbol felt like someone poured rubbing alcohol on an open wound! ‬But as with everything else we are a resilient community and this too shall pass. Onward!

Voting closed 19

Hope they put the same one back up it was so inspiring. To the community. It gave us some type of hope. For the people in the community.. they should be more inspiring art in the city .. to keep hope alive..

Voting closed 2

If we could ask him; Would he prefer housing for 100+ people? Or a picture of himself?

I'm hardly a scholar of Apartheid, but I believe many of the practical problems related to land and housing.

I wonder if the people complaining about this mural can hear themselves?

Voting closed 6