A quick consensus developed this week at the third and final community meeting regarding the reconstruction of the brick wall along Snow Hill Street and DeFilippo Park, also known as the Gassy.
Boston Parks Department Project Manager, Michele Folts, and Bayside Engineering consultant, William Capone, used this meeting to congeal the community input gathered at the last two meetings. The end result is a lower height brick wall, about 4 feet high, with an iron-like fence on top. There will also be brick columns spaced along the wall which is 280 feet long. Concrete caps will be placed on top of the columns and along the length of the wall including the existing granite buttresses inside the park.
“I think this design is more friendly to the neighborhood,” said Parks Department Project Manager Michelle Folts. With a lower wall, there will be more light and visibility between Snow Hill Street and the Gassy. City officials are hopeful that the increased views will discourage inappropriate activities within the park.
Anne Pistorio, Chair of NEWRA’s Parks and Open Spaces Committee, said she liked the design but was concerned that kids might throw things from Snow Hill Street into the park.
The concrete cap on top of the brick wall will be sloped so that tourists and walkers don’t leave debris and water can drain off the wall properly. The fence will be constructed of galvanized steel or iron with spaced stabilizing posts.
Using $285,000 in City funds for this project, the Parks Department would like to start construction this Spring and expects the work to take about 3 months. Most of the staging will take place inside the park so that Snow Hill Street remains open.
The adjoining sidewalk on Snow Hill Street will also be replaced as part of construction but not otherwise modified. Residents asked if other street work could be coordinated with the construction. There are not many utilities under the sidewalk, other than lighting infrastructure, but the Parks Department said they would communicate with Public Works to see if there is an opportunity to combine other planned work activities.
Resident David Kubiak said the curb and gutter on Snow Hill Street is very shallow due to repeated blacktop being added to the street. He said that water tends to pool and impair drainage. Project Manager Folts responded, “We can talk to Public Works, but that is not within our budget.” Kubiak and Pistorio said they would write a letter to Public Works and Councilor LaMattina’s office regarding their concerns with the sidewalk width, streetlights, catch basins and the need for sewers to be re-built. Pistorio commented, “Snow Hill Street is being used more by bigger cars and trucks and more pedestrians.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, the dozen or so residents in attendance said they were pleased with the wall design and looked forward to its reconstruction this year.
The final design also appears to reflect views from our NorthEndWaterfront.com poll.
Poll Question: What characteristics do you prefer for the reconstruction of the wall along Snow Hill Street and DeFilippo Playground? (Check all that apply.)
Starting in February, the Boston Parks Department plans to begin the second stage of design work for the interior of the park, mostly in and around the playground area. Parks Department Project Manager Cathy Baker-Eclipse said there will be a community meeting on February 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Nazzaro Center.
See the Community Calendar for upcoming neighborhood meetings and events.