Dewey Square Parks/Fort Point Channel Parks Update

14, Jan, 2010 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

What’s in a name?

Lately some misinformation has surfaced about the Conservancy’s plans for Dewey Square Parks, the section of the Greenway between Summer Street and Seaport Boulevard.  In response we are thinking about ways to send and receive ideas more clearly and beginning with posting a few facts in this blog.

We’ve discussed the two naturally different areas of this park in past blogs – one is a garden, the other a civic space. Divided by the tall air intake structure serving the tunnel below, the park naturally divides into two areas that feel very different and relate to different surroundings. The Conservancy is proposing retaining the name Dewey Square Park for the plaza (named for Admiral Dewey) and the rest of parcel 22 and adding the name Fort Point Channel Parks to the two parcels between Congress St. and Seaport Blvd.  Creating two distinct names will make it easier to have a community conversation and avoid further confusion.  What do you think? We’d love to hear from you. You can submit a comment directly on our website or send an email directly to [email protected].

Fort Point Channel and Dewey Square Parks

What is planned for Fort Point Channel Parks?

The Conservancy has been working with the award-winning firms Mary Ann Thompson Architects (Best of Boston / Eco-Friendly Architect 2009) and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Brooklyn Bridge Park, Teardrop Park, Boston Children’s Museum Waterfront Park) to develop the phase 2 plans for Dewey Square Park and Fort Point Channel Parks. (See 11/21/09 post for more information about the three phases).  And the Conservancy is raising money for these parkland enhancements solely from private sources.

We are focusing our fundraising efforts first on the Fort Point Channel Parks (and more specifically on the smallest parcel between Congress and Pearl Streets) so we can address the immediate need to fix significant compaction, drainage, irrigation and soil quality issues on these parcels.  When these fixes occur – 2011 with luck–  the community has an opportunity to improve on the current design (a lot or a little) without radically changing the nature of the spaces and integrate amenities such as shade and seating; amenities that work in context with the neighborhood and the horticultural nature of Fort Point Channel.  We believe a great landscaped space on this parcel can also support a park visitors’ pavilion, where one can bring a brown-bag lunch, access free wireless internet, and admire the horticultural collection.

Plans for more active programming like an ice skating are reserved, and always have been, for Dewey Square Park (the plaza one) and are currently not part of the Conservancy’s fundraising plans.

Starting February 2 at an open meeting of the Board and Greenway Leadership Council, the Conservancy will discuss with the public its findings – from the research into sub-grade conditions in Fort Point Channel Parks (between Congress and Pearl Streets) and some suggested approaches for remediation and improvement. We look forward to seeing you there. (Meeting topics, times and dates are subject to change. Please visit our public meeting schedule for the most up-to-date information.)

We’d love to hear from you. Please send questions, comments, ideas or concerns to [email protected].