The North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) voted unanimously to support Old North’s application for a fabrication grant from Boston’s Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund to construct a fountain. This competitive grant is designated for public art and gardens in the City of Boston.
Rev. Stephen Ayres, representing the Old North Foundation, explained the grant and planned construction. Watch his presentation in the video above from the NEWNC meeting and follow along with this timeline.
(1:04) Three years ago, Old North received a $50,000 design grant from the Browne Fund to remodel the Washington Memorial Garden and courtyard, which is the open space to the north side of Old North Church. The goal is to make this space an outdoor classroom space with enhanced seating. The entire courtyard also needs to be brought up to ADA code.
(4:19) Two changes have been made to the original design. The first is that the poem was originally going to be on a water wall, but it will now be a water table that will reflect the bell tower and Old North Church. The other change is that abutters expressed a desire for the crabapple tree to be saved. The Old North Foundation brought in an arborist who is attempting to save the tree.
(6:21) The plants in the courtyard will be moved to the edges in raised planters so there will be more seating and room for a few tables. At the entrance to the garden will be a smaller artwork, done by a Brighton High School art teacher who also assisted with the design process.
(8:22) NEWNC President John Pregmon asked if any other North End groups are applying for the grant. Rev. Ayres said he did not know of any other neighborhood applications and Maria Lanza from the Mayor’s Office confirmed that Old North is the only North End group applying for the Browne Fund.
On March 14, 2019, Steve Ayres also presented to the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) which also voted to support the Old North application. The video from the NEWRA meeting is shown below.