Cat Alley – Manchester, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

Cat Alley

One New Hampshire alleyway has become home to a public gallery of feline art. 


Formally known as “Dean Court,” the tight little side street leading to the public library in Manchester, New Hampshire that is better known as “Cat Alley” is now an open air gallery for feline-centric street art. 

Branching off of Elm St. in Manchester, the alleyway got its true name from a pioneering cotton mill manufacturer. However it gained its more well known nickname from someone named C.T. Durgin. While it does not say who he was, a bronze plaque at the site says that the man named the alley after seeing a battle between a pair of stray cats on the small street. For most of its life, Cat Alley was just a mundane street that distinguished itself mainly by its small size. 

Cat Alley did not become the street art gallery it is today until a local realtor took a shine to the little alley, and began a campaign to revitalize the street. After raising some money and working with local businesses, he was able to get permission to decorate the alley in cats. He then teamed up with a local artist who worked with at-risk street artists, and had a number of wall murals painted across the brick, creating an urban art gallery. He even got the aforementioned historical plaque installed.

Today the whimsical alley is still a haven for cat loving street artists and their cute cats. Should you find yourself walking around Manchester, New Hampshire with some time to kill and a meow in your heart, head for Cat Alley.   

Know Before You Go

Cat Alley is located across the street from XO Restaurant and the entrance is just to the right of Lala's Hungarian Pastries at 836 Elm St.

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