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Students from St. John’s and Eliot Schools shouted “Huzzah!” at Wednesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking for the North Square reconstruction project in Boston’s North End.

The renovation is focused on accessibility while restoring the historical features of the square. Repointed cobblestones and iron chains will be joined by wider sidewalks and ramps. The center garden / gathering area will be restored as will the two roadways on both sides.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh led the groundbreaking that will kick off a Spring 2018 start to the $2.5 million reconstruction project led by Boston Public Works Department. Also taking part were Nina Zanneri, Executive Director of the Paul Revere House, Chris Osgood, Boston’s Chief of Streets and Julie Burros, Boston’s Arts & Culture Director. Local officials joined the event including State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, State Sen. Joe Boncore, District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Councilor-at-large Annissa Essabi-George.

North Square is the country’s oldest occupied public square and is a part of the vibrant community and visitor fabric of the North End. North Square features the Paul Revere House and the Freedom Trail, with its 4 million annual visitors.

Jeremy Angier, Ann Hirsch, Mayor Walsh and Julie Burros (Photo courtesy A+J+Art+Design)

The artist team A+J+Art+Design is simultaneously working on a public art project as part of the North Square restoration. The latest design meetings have focused on four bronze “story sculptures” representing different pieces of square’s history.

The North Square renovation will also complete the remaining details for the abutting Rachel Revere Square Park that was recently restored by the Boston Parks & Recreation Department.

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