This report on the Greenway Conservancy community meeting is contributed by Diane Valle. The meeting took place at the Aquarium Learning Lab at the Harbor Garage on September 29, 2010.
Nancy Brennan, RFKGC Executive Director introduced a three month feasibility study to site a proposed, new, custom-designed carousel on The Greenway. The existing carousel is a pilot, rental, to see how popular it would be. It has been a success:
2009 77,000 rode the carousel (x $3.00 = $231,000)
2010 Attendance on track
The Boston Foundation has presented to The RFKGC a “remarkable donor” who lives in the Metro Boston area, with the “simple desire to make children happy,” reported Nancy Brennan. “She provided the money to finish a feasibility study. If the feasibility study is positive, she will step up to $1M contribution.”
Issues for the feasibility study include
- Site location/ design
- Fundraising/capital cost
Money is needed for the construction and installation of the carousel, as well as site modification, landscaping which is symbiotic, winterizing, etc. The expectation is $1.5M+ for the project.
The current carousel was described as “generic.” Nancy Brennan described the opportunity to have a “Boston only carousel, to make children happy in one of America’s foremost urban parks.”
In October, Ms. Brennan plans to go to “our customers and clients: “four elementary schools”, to ask elementary school children “What would you like?” “What will you imagine?” It will take one year for design and installation; two years in total with permitting.
Linda Jonash, RFKGC, was introduced, and presented the carousel team:
- Architecture/ Deign : Utile, Inc.
(Sample work: Broad Street Crossroads Initiative)
- Landscape Design: Reed Hilderbrand
(Sample Work: Central Wharf Plaza)
- Engineering: SGH VHB
- Carousel Design: Jeffrey Briggs, designer/carver
(Sample Work: Detroit River Conservancy carousel designed with river theme)
Gary Hilderbrand described various carousel settings:
- The National Mall, Washington, DC
- Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
- Bryant Park, NYC
- Florence, Italy
- Paris, France
He further discussed the effects on The Greenway: “The meander,” The promenade”, the views and family-friendly zones.
Linda Jonash reviewed site location, with description by Utile, Inc including the criteria: physical space, circulation, views and scale. Parcel 14 and 16 were presented as the most desirable sites, with Parcel 14 as the most desirable.
The carousel design includes a 17’ radius/ 34’ diameter, with a 4’ buffer zone circle, plus a 10’ viewing zone circle for a total of a 72’ diameter circle.
Ms. Brennan invited public feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions from those present included requests for:
- a natural shade area for the viewing zone
- free carousel ride
- landscaping around the carousel rather than the existing police barricades
- restrooms needed in the vicinity
- signage to direct the public to restrooms
- the desire to maintain greenspace
- not “overpaving” The Greenway
- keeping the carousel in the zone where there is food, cold drink, other kid-friendly activities
- the need for quiet greenspace.
There was a request to consider moving the carousel to another location such as Central Wharf Park by the Aquarium or Christopher Columbus Park.
A discussion followed about winterizing strategies, dates of operation and use, as well as permanence and cost. The carousel use is a six month proposal because there will be no heat. The Conservancy staff plans to research heavy use times, claiming the first year was the “first year” and this year is impacted by a construction site adjacent.