North End residents and community members came out to celebrate the soon-to-be renovated Paul Revere Mall at a groundbreaking ceremony hosted by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and Mayor Martin Walsh at the Prado Wednesday morning.
The renovation project will include fountain and masonry restoration, accessibility improvements, planting of new trees, more lighting, tree pruning and new brick paving. The budget for the project is $2,900,000 of which $1,900,000 came from Mayor Walsh’s Capital Plan with the remainder provided by the George Robert White Fund.
Mayor Walsh said the improvements will make this portion of the North End safer for residents.
“It’s a great place,” said Walsh. “We need to invest in these areas.”
The Paul Revere Mall at 370 Hanover Street dates all the way back to 1925. The Prado was designed by Arthur Shurcliff, an early 20th century landscape architect known for his work at Colonial Williamsburg. The space, also known as “The Prado”, sees a great amount of foot traffic as part of the Freedom Trail that connects Hanover Street with the Old North Church.
Restoration work will begin sometime in the beginning of August, though there is no official start date. The project is scheduled to be finished by spring of 2019.
Rev. Stephen T. Ayres, of Old North Church, blessed the ceremony and said two lanterns were lit in the steeple to honor the occasion.
Rev. Ayres then read a prayer that was inspired by the famous poem “Paul Revere’s Last Ride.”
“Listen my children and you shall hear,” he said. “Of the renovated mall of Paul Revere. One if by land and two if by sea and we under the statue will be rededicating ourselves to liberty. Bless the workers who restore this mall, so that we will insure that freedom’s for all and that our civic values may never fall.”