The dedication of Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway was held in the pouring rain, but that only highlighted the spirit of its supporters during the historic celebration.
The dedication of the long-awaited park brought out hundreds of spectators, creating a sea of umbrellas on the former plot of “Big Dig” land located across from Christopher Columbus Park on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Cross Street, also known as Parcel 13. The park is adjacent to the North End, Wharf District and Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market area.
The welcoming and support of the park by residents the North End / Waterfront was repeatedly mentioned by several speakers at the ceremony. The Armenian Heritage Foundation funded and constructed the $6 million park, including funds for maintenance, at no cost to the taxpayer. Notably, the park is not under the lease of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy although the two organizations may collaborate in the future.
The Armenian Heritage Foundation celebrated their heritage at the dedication and emphasized the immigrant experience evident in the park’s features. The website for the park identifies the symbolism:
- The Labyrinth, a circular winding path paved in granite set in stone, celebrates life’s journey.
- A single jet of water and the symbol of eternity mark its center, representing hope and rebirth.
- The Abstract Sculpture, a split dodecahedron mounted above a reflecting pool, commemorates the immigrant experience. The Sculpture is dedicated to lives lost during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 and all genocides that have followed.
- Annually, the Sculpture will be reconfigured symbolic of the immigrant experience and all who left their countries of origin and came to our Massachusetts shores, establishing themselves in new and different ways.
An avid supporter of the park’s construction, Governor Deval Patrick, spoke at the dedication along with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Watertown where a large Armenian community resides. Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, and Ambassador of Republic of Armenia to the United States Tatoul Markarian were also in attendance on behalf of the Republic of Armenia. Representing the Armenian Heritage Foundation was President, James M. Kalustian, Archbishops Khajag Barsamian, Vicken Aykazian, and Oshagan Choloyan of the Armenian Church of America among reverend clergy. The Honorable Peter Koutoujian, High Sheriff of Middlesex County served as Master of Ceremonies at the dedication.
Below are more scenes from the dedication of the Armenian Heritage Park. Photos by Matt Conti, unless otherwise noted.