The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in partnership with MassDOT and the Greenway Conservancy presented their concept design options for Parcel 2 on Wednesday evening.

Based on feedback from the second meeting, the project team presented three design ideas to the public. The goal of the meeting was to narrow down to one design concept for further development. Attendees were encouraged to discuss the different designs with a team member and write down their feedback for each option.

This Was Once A Pond Design

The first design, “This Was Once A Pond”, refers to the history of the location formerly being underwater when Mill Pond existed. Intended to incorporate a meadow aspect, the design also features a raised boardwalk and tiered seating. The scheme shows an edge framed by trees in order to create shade as well as a barrier between the park and the busy traffic on North Washington Street.

A concern raised by one resident was that the concept does not appear to be very dog-friendly. Several people noted that they liked the idea of a boardwalk, although one countered that it would be difficult to maintain during the winter.

Tiered Grove Design

The second concept design was created from feedback that suggested visitors would enjoy a grove characteristic to the park. Named “Tiered Grove”, the design features a nature grove of trees located in planting beds that rise out of the sidewalk to create tiered seating on the inner edge of the park. The open center leaves the potential for temporary art installations, which was among one of the top voted activities gathered from the previous public meeting.

Another feature discussed was the aspect of bringing New England geology to the park in the form of landscaping rocks among concrete tiered seating to create an illusion of solitude. Also found in this design is the tree edge intended to create a buffer against traffic.

Winter Garden Design

Featuring a warm ground aspect similar to that of the Greenway’s Dewey Square, the “Winter Garden” concept design aspires to bring a multi-season element to the park. Incorporating resilient seasonal planting and a theme of light, the design idea aims at creating a park that’s beautiful during every season—especially winter. This concept provides a more free-flowing, unique design as opposed to the other two options.

The seating arrangement for this concept would be a combination of flexible chairs and tables as well as benches placed in little pockets inside the gardens to create some solitude. One resident opposed the idea of moveable chairs and tables on the space, but many expressed their approval of the design’s curvy edges.

Those who attended the meeting were asked to vote for their favorite concept by placing a blue candy wrapper inside the jar of their primary preferred design option and a red candy wrapper inside their second preferred design option. The project team will use the feedback gathered at the meeting to narrow down the design options for Parcel 2 to just one of the concepts.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can share your thoughts and feedback through this online survey. The survey will be open until October 14 at 9 a.m.

Slated for completion in 2020, planning for the Greenway’s Parcel 2 park has reached the mid-point in the design process. The fourth meeting, planned in November, will present the public with the final design choice and request feedback on specific design elements.

More information on Parcel 2 can be found here. Follow NorthEndWaterfront.com coverage of this topic by searching the tag Parcel 2.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The second design “Tiered Grove” looks lucious and most natural. The idea of trees providing a buffer against traffic is excellent.
    For the first design: what’s the purpose of the board walk which cuts through a grassy area?? We do not need a boardwalk. We need green grass.
    The third one looks ‘cold’ and uninviting, but if we follow the description, the design sounds very nice in that it takes into consideration the seasons.
    That’s my 2 cents worth! Not that it amounts to anything, but natural areas and green trees and grass makes me happy, so I am being indulgent by expressing POV (point of view).

  2. I’m in favor of the concept that provides the most trees to the neighborhood! However, with all the noxious bus, car and truck fumes from North Washington Street, the Greenway will have a huge challenge in keeping them alive.

    • Trees convert carbon dioxide to oxgin. Maybe a step toward improving the environment. But only a small one. Ok barely noticeable.

  3. This is a tough spot. Small and completely surrounded by heavy, angry traffic. As Chris points out, not a pleasant place to hang out, no matter what you do with it. I say turn it into a dog toilet/park with trees, all gravel underfoot, benches and a fence around it.

  4. Mark B: Dogs won’t take to the gravel. It’s an oasis in the midst of madness with all the traffic and fumes. It’s asking for greenery, that’s all.

    • There’s a gravel dog park in the North End and the West End dogs are accustomed to going to the bathroom on the sidewalks. Gravel works just fine for dogs!

      • For the comfort of pads on dogs’ feet, pea gravel is okay and does not get hot under sunlight. It takes research to find the company who sells quality gravel. A less expensive type will irritate their foot pads.

  5. Pea gravel is fine. My point is that the lot is surrounded by 4 12-story buildings (more coming) and an adjacent dense neighborhood, all of which are chock-full of dog owners. They all currently use the sidewalks or that sad lot over the Zakim bridge or the small median strips on New Chardon and N. Washington/Cross. I’ve see people lifting their dogs onto the raised ornamental planters outside Tavern in The Square (!). Dog urine kills grass, and it’s an uphill battle to maintain it. This lot is too small to be considered an Oasis from the madness surrounding it at close quarters IMO. I think it’s a perfect location to provide a safe alternative to the feces and urine covered sidewalks.

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