Dozens of North End residents joined with Mayor Tom Menino on Friday morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated tot lot and wall construction at DeFilippo Playground, commonly known as “The Gassy.”

In a year-long series of community meetings, the City of Boston invested $933,000 to renovate certain areas of the interior North End park located at 135 Prince Street.

Playground improvements include replacement of the existing play structure, new toddler bucket swings, and a seating and gathering area. The fenced area has been enlarged to create a more open feeling in the play area. A new conversation area has also been added along Prince Street for passive recreation.

Wall improvements have opened up the existing brick wall along Snow Hill Street with brick pillars and ornamental metal fencing to increase visibility and light into the park. The wall was redesigned to improve safety within the park and provide increased visual appeal.

The celebration was combined with this year’s Mayor’s Coffee Hour, held previously at Christopher Columbus Park. Many residents had an opportunity to speak with Mayor Menino and Parks Department Commissioner, Toni Pollak.

Residents appeared very pleased with completion of the park’s renovations. Looking ahead, the two issues that appeared to be of most interest at the coffee hour were the need to renovate the “flights” area of the park, a crumbling area leading up to Hull Street and the recent scene of a large underage drinking bust. Secondly, several residents raised the ongoing debate regarding some dog owners that don’t pick up after their pets and use off-limit areas such as neighborhood ball fields. The “flights” area of the Gassy is one area often mentioned for a future dog park.

Speaking at the event were Mayor Tom Menino, Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak, City Councilor Sal LaMattina and State Representative Aaron Michlewitz. City of Boston Project Managers responsible for planning the renovations were Michele Folts and Cathy Baker-Eclipse. The reopening event included face painting, live music by Singer-Guitarist Ron Goldman, coffee from Dunkin Donuts and refreshments by H.P. Hood.

Photos by Matt Conti.

 

Mayor Menino, Councilor LaMattina & Rep. Aaron Michlewitz at the Ribbon Cutting with some Helpers.

 

The new play equipment at DeFilippo Playground gets a tryout.

 

An enthusiastic recipient of one of the Mayor’s famous coffee hour plants.

 

Daniel wonders how long this piece of equipment will last.

 

There is nothing like a new playground.

 

Lori and Julianna at the DeFilippo Playground reopening.

 

A Mayor’s Duty – Ribbon Cutting with Neighborhood Friends

 

Yes, there is singing and dancing!

 

Conversing in the new “Conversation Area”

 

The North End’s Aaron Michlewitz, State Representative.

 

Some kids listen, others don’t.

 

Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Boston, Antonia Pollak.

 

Talking to the Mayor at the Coffee Hour.

 

City Councilor Sal LaMattina at the DeFilippo Playground reopening.

 

Adam Thorpe, Pinball Wizard of LevelUp with North End resident, Adrianne.

 

Serious artwork

 

Despite 95 degree weather, a large crowd shows up for the park reopening and coffee hour.

 

Hoops at the Gassy.

 

City Councilor Sal LaMattina at the DeFilippo Playground reopening.

 

The nice dog owners at the Gassy.

 

DeFilippo Playground Opening at “The Gassy”

 

Parks Personnel Help Out at the Mayor’s Coffee Hour.

 

Testing out the new bucket swing set.

 

Seal of approval on the new tot lot.

 

Ron Goldman, Singer and Guitarist, provides the entertainment.

 

Happy neighbors!

 

Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Boston, Antonia Pollak.

 

Mayor Menino Keeps it Short and Sweet at the 95 degree park reopening ceremony.

 

To Face or Not to Face.

 

If you’re 50, go somewhere else to play.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Pleasure to see new renovations and so many children enjoying good safe equipment in a playground !
    Good job Boston !

  2. THE IMPROVEMENT TO THE GASSY IS A WONDERFUL
    THING AND THE EXTENSION OF THE ELIOT SCHOOL
    TO THE NAZZARO CENTER ANOTHER IMPROVEMENT
    FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN.
    GOD BLESS THE MAYOR FOR THESE GREAT
    ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
    WHAT ABOUT THE DRUNKS, THAT DESTROY OUR
    NEIGHBORHOOD? WHAT ABOUT THE SEXUAL
    ACTIVITY TAKING PLACES IN BOTH RESIDENTIAL
    & BUSINESS PROPERTIES?
    A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD WHICH NOW LOOKS
    MORE LIKE THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED AND
    SODOM & GOMMORAH. LET US NEVER, EVER
    FORGET 2011 BOSTON GOT PICKED FOR THE
    MOST DRUNK CITY IN THE COUNTRY.
    WE ARE LIKE LAMBS GOING IN FOR THE SLAUGHTER.
    WE NEED MORE POLICE PROTECTION AND FINES
    FOR THOSE DESTROYING WHAT WE CALL OUR
    HOMES. THESE FINES HAVE TO APPLY FOR NOT
    ONLY RESIDENTS & LANDLORDS, BUT FOR THOSE
    PEOPLE ENTERING THE NO. END USING OUR STREETS AND DOORWAYS AS RESTROOMS.
    OUR POLITICIANS HAVE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE
    WITH ORDINANCES, THESE PROBLEMS ARE NOT
    NEW, THEY HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR MORE THAN
    10 YEARS. THE VALUE OF PROPERTY WILL
    EVENTUALLY GO DOWN, BECAUSE WHO WANTS TO
    LIVE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE PEOPLE ARE
    URINATING, VOMITING, HAVING SEX AND FALLING
    OFF ROOF TOPS WHERE SIGN ARE POSTED,
    NO ADMITTANCE, AND THEN SUING THE LANDLORDS
    FOR FALLING OFF ROOFS WHILE THEY ARE IN A
    DRUNKEN STATE. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

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