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City Hall Renovations Commence

Construction has begun on the renovations of City Hall Plaza to improve accessibility, increase environmental sustainability, and make critical infrastructure changes.

Top of the Hanover Promenade. Design and rendering by Sasaki Architects.

The renovations, originally scheduled to start in April, officially kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, July 10. The redesign includes:

  • Re-opening the second floor of City Hall Plaza to the public, allowing easier access to the building;
  • 3,000 spaces for residents to sit;
  • 12,000 square feet of playscapes for children and families
  • 11,000 square feet of terraces for pop-up play and interactive public art

There will also be spaces for events, including seven new “plug and play” locations for community groups to utilize, with space for 10,000 – 12,0000 visitors on the main plaza, and room for a 20,000 – 25,000 person gathering on the entire plaza.

The renovated plaza will have three smaller event and gathering places, and a new civic building on Congress Street, equipped with a bathroom and other facilities to support public gatherings.

In terms of environmental improvements, the new design includes:

  • An increase in permeable surfaces that will soak up stormwater;
  • 100 new trees;
  • Replacing fifty lights with efficient LED technology;
  • 22,500 feet of granite and brick paving will be reused or recycled.

Phase One

The main goal of phase one is to make the plaza more accessible for all while delivering updated programming capabilities, adding infrastructure, and making the plaza more sustainable. This $70 million investment will connect Congress and Cambridge Streets with an accessible sloped Hanover Promenade with shady seating and gathering areas, a destination play space, public art space, and a water feature.

Adventure Playslope. Rendering and design by Sasaki Architects.

This phase also includes:

  • Opening the North building entry;
  • Accessibility improvements to the plaza entry;
  • Enhanced speakers corner;
  • Stormwater improvements working with Boston Water and Sewer Commission;
  • Flexible platform for various sized performances.

The Shawmut Design and Construction’s construction management process is organized around three bid phases:

  • Package #1: demolition of plaza brick and granite
  • Package #2: geo structural modification
  • Package #3: the remainder of the  scope of work, which will begin in August 2020 and be completed in 20 months.

Follow updates from the City about the renovations at www.boston.gov/departments/public-facilities/city-hall-plaza-renovation.

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