Greenway Around the Globe

22, Dec, 2015 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

The Greenway Conservancy hosts over 300 free events a year, commissions amazing rotating exhibits of contemporary public art, and offers four-season organic horticulture throughout the 17-acre park. With all that hustle and bustle, it becomes easy to miss how far The Greenway has come since opening in 2008/2009.

There was a time before all the events, before 30 food trucks had descended, before the trees had grown in, and before the park had become one of the premier tourist attractions in Boston that a writer for the Boston Globe referred to the park as the “Emptyway.”

In last few years, the tide has turned in Boston’s paper of record as the Globe labeled The Greenway both ‘the most unconditionally happy place in Boston‘ and the ‘People’s Park.’ Even more recently, one of our commissioned public art pieces moved a Globe columnist to tears for what it meant for our City.

But over just the past week-plus, The Greenway has been cited in seven different articles in the Globe, each making positive mention of a different component of what makes The Greenway a unique hub of innovation, activation, and civic pride.

A recap of recent Greenway content in the Boston Globe:

  1. Sunday, December 13 – The Bold and the Brutal – Opinion piece by Globe columnist Dante Ramos on pursuing bold architecture in Boston that cites the Design Biennial Boston 2015, which the Greenway Conservancy co-sponsored. The four winning entries of the Biennial, an architectural design competition for up-and-coming firms in Boston, were featured on The Greenway this past summer. (One winner, LoFab by the MASS Design Group, can still be viewed across from our Rowes Wharf Plaza through the winter.)
  2. Friday, December 18 – Boston turns its back on millennials – Opinion piece by former Boston City Councilor Mike Ross on the status of several initiatives geared towards 21-34 year olds noted The Greenway remains a “very inventive” and no cost option for those seeking fun and entertainment in Boston.
  3. Saturday, December 19 – Diane Simpson show at ICA is superb – A review by Globe art critic Sebastian Smee of a new exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art highlights our fourth Greenway Wall mural by artist Lawrence Weiner and the meaning of Weiner’s chosen words, medium and materials. (The mural was commissioned by the Greenway Conservancy in partnership with the MIT List Visual Arts Center.)
  4. Sunday, December 20 – Boston, don’t let the frost bite – Opinion piece by Globe columnist Dante Ramos on the need for Bostonians to more readily seek outdoor winter recreational opportunities, with several quotes from Greenway Conservancy Executive Director Jesse Brackenbury. The article comes on the heels of Brackenbury’s speech to the Boston Chamber of Commerce in October promoting a new winter identity in Boston that we shared in an earlier blog.
  5. Sunday, December 20 – Janet Echelman: The Sculptor of Wonders – In Boston Globe Magazine‘s annual Bostonians of the Year issue, the magazine named Greenway-commissioned artist Janet Echelman as an Honorable Mention for Bostonian of the Year! In the accompanying piece by Globe art critic Sebastian Smee, he refers to “As If It Were Already Here” – the new artwork that soared over The Greenway from May to October – as “the most galvanizing piece of public sculpture in Boston in living memory.”
  6. Sunday, December 20 – We have much-maligned Government Center to thank for city’s advances – Former long-time Boston City Councilor Larry DiCara responded to the earlier column on big-thinking architecture in Boston (#1 above) with a mention that Boston would not have the benefit of The Greenway (and other public assets) without the 1960s construction of Government Center
  7. Monday, December 21 – Armenian Heritage Park’s peace walk provides time to reflect – Recap of a Sunday event on the Armenian Heritage Park, located near Faneuil Hall on The Greenway and maintained by the Greenway Conservancy.

The Greenway Conservancy is proud of the work our non-profit has done to steward and improve The Greenway as an active public space in the heart of Boston. In 2014, we had more than a million trackable visits to The Greenway, our first year with over one million and up sharply from 96,000 in 2009. This year even more were tracked on The Greenway with 1.2 million trackable visits with still 10 days to go! Thank you for your support of, and interest in, The Greenway!


In just the few days since this blog was published, three more great articles have appeared in the Globe worthy of inclusion here:

  • Saturday, December 26 – On walls and behind scenes, women moved art world – In the Boston Globe‘s special ‘The Year in Arts’ section, Globe art critic Sebastian Smee refers to “As If It Were Already Here” – the Greenway-commissioned sculpture by Janet Echelman – as “the most beautiful and audacious piece of public art in Boston in living memory.”
  • Sunday, December 27 – 10 years later, did the Big Dig deliver? – In a preview of the upcoming weekend’s Boston Globe Magazine issue, former Globe reporter Anthony Flint takes a deep dive into the legacy of the Big Dig and offers the following: “So it is that the greatest success of the Big Dig is this: It established a new landscape for the city to flourish all around it. Buildings once overlooking a clogged highway now have a beautiful park at their front door. That’s all it took.”
  • Tuesday, December 29 – Looking back over a year in Boston’s galleries – Globe Correspondent Cate McQuaid reviews the year in Boston’s art galleries, but takes a moment to hail our efforts in public art: “Public art, too, is finally looking up — as we looked up at Janet Echelman’s spectacular, luminous, aerial net, “As If It Were Already Here,” suspended over Rose Kennedy Greenway from May to October.”