Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.04.30 PM

The third and final meeting for the redesign of Rachel Revere Park was more of a “community design review” with much of the meeting consisting of residents providing feedback an preferences on the final two design concepts.  Held at the St. John School, the meeting was just a few steps away from Rachel Revere Park where construction is expected to take place in 2016. 

Advertisement

A previous meeting presented four design concepts for the space, after the feedback was taken into consideration, the designs were broken down into two final concepts for the park. Before moving into the final design phase, residents had this one final meeting to offer their likes and dislikes within each of the final two concepts.

Concept 1

Concept 1 features a large functional space at the top and defined areas for seating and recreational space. Having tress on both sides with flexible seating, the stairs are strategically staggered to prevent kids or balls from flowing into the street.  Inner wall seating runs along the recreational area and the design includes three park entrances.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.05.54 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.06.19 PM

Concept 2

Concept 2 offers strategically placed seating platforms to provide unique views for the surrounding scenery while also acting as an indirect barrier between the street and recreational area. More of an “open layout,” this concept is utilizing more seating platforms and a more inviting design, featuring trees with a small plant bed on a raised platform for the entire park.

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.05.18 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 6.05.37 PM

Each of the two final design concepts drew praise from the audience, the general consensus from residents was that both are a vast improvement from the existing condition, and both have several trees to provide adequate shading without blocking historic views like the Paul Revere House.

The project was originally budgeted for a total of $180,000 but an additional funds request for $172,000 was accepted by the city, bringing the total construction budget up to $352,000. Final design and coordination with public works and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission will ensue over the winter, with construction expected in 2016.

When the floor was opened up for the public to provide feedback and preferences, the following topics were discussed:

  • Materials used in each “section.”
  • Concerns over railings, or lack thereof.
  • Elevation differences between each concept [Insight: the elevation for both are relatively the same, the entrance on concept 1 can look misleading].
  • Type of trees that will be used in the park.
  • Would you consider putting posts along concept 2 to prevent traffic and parking along the sidewalk?
  • Wood, weathering and budget maintenance.
  • Cobblestones, how about including that somewhere in the plan?
  • Historical significance, how to preserve it?  Could something be incorporated into the pavement of the park, telling the story of the park and the significance of the square itself?

There was no clear favorite at the meeting, please take the poll above to voice your opinion on which design concept you like best!

Comments are also welcome below or direct to Allison Perlman at allison.perlman@boston.gov.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with Rachel. This park should be designed to visually honor the history of the neighborhood. The designs are interesting, but very typical of current design trends. This is a special neighborhood and it deserves better.

    My other concern is the trees. I like the shade they would provide. But the small park next to the Harbor Garage is dark and sheltered by the trees making it a good spot for drinking from bottles in brown paper bags. A few trees would be nice, but please avoid this potential problem.

    • This space is an oasis in the midst of our bustling neighborhood. Furthermore, I see nothing that diminishes the history of the North End ! We may need a few handrails, however. Trees are more beautiful in the park when they are small and create delicate shadows. It is going to be a breath of fresh air.

  2. We are so fortunate to have this little jewel of open space in North Square! I agree w Rachel that the park should honor the neighborhood’s historic roots, but in a way that is inviting, and suitable for its current uses: gathering area for groups/Freedom Trail visitors, play area for students, passive recreation via seating areas for moms and tots, residents and visitors. In both design schemes the addition of trees and landscaped borders is wonderful, however I agree w Mary H, that overplanting of trees, as seen at the park next to the Harbor garage, will create an overly dark canopy instead of one that allows for dappled sunlight when the trees are in leaf. Also, in both design schemes: the site amenities(benches, seating, copings, etc) appear too generic, of the sort seen in many many urban plazas around the country. Our park is in an urban environment, but one that exudes character and charm, even while fulfilling multiple uses/programming. Would like to see site amenities that are comfortable, adaptable for a variety of uses, safe ( not attractive to skateboarding activity) and, circling back, that suit the site, a small sometimes contemplative sometimes exuberant always welcoming perfect pie-wedge of park space in North Square.

  3. Nautical style bollards (without chains) placed around the outer edge of the park would serve multiple purposes – pedestrian safety, prevention of parking on sidewalk, preservation of nautical theme.

    • Corinne and Maryann,

      Both renderings will be fully compliant with ADA regulations. Being a public park, each rendering incorporates accessibility for both handicap and wheelchair access.

Comments are closed.