North Meadow on The Greenway – History & Background

25, Jul, 2022

The Greenway Conservancy is delighted to announce the completion of North Meadow on The Greenway, the newest park space in Boston’s contemporary public park formerly known as Central Artery Parcel 2.

North Meadow on The Greenway is a site of constant reinvention. Originally open water within the Charles River estuary, this location was dammed to become Mill Pond and then filled in as a part of the Bulfinch Triangle development in the 19th century. In the 20th century, this site was overshadowed by the elevated highway Interstate 93. As part of the “Big Dig”, the highway was submerged allowing the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the contemporary public park in the heart of Boston, to be built. As the northern terminus of the park, North Meadow is both a gateway to The Greenway and a pocket of open space for residents and visitors to the surrounding neighborhoods.

In planning and design, the community prioritized maximizing nature, creating a place of serenity, and showcasing the site’s history. Serving as a tribute to the Charles River’s estuarine ecology, the park’s native meadow plantings and unique boardwalk create a sense of enclosure and tranquility. North Meadow on The Greenway is a neighborhood park, inviting you to unwind with the backdrop of downtown Boston.

 

HISTORY & BACKGROUND 

Located between Boston’s West End, Bulfinch Triangle, and North End and bordered by North Washington Street, Anthony “Rip” Valenti Way, and Beverly Street, North Meadow on The Greenway is a site of constant reinvention. Originally open water within the Charles River estuary, this location was dammed to become Mill Pond and then filled in as a part of the Bulfinch Triangle development in the 19th century. In the 20th century, this site was overshadowed by the elevated highway Interstate 93. As part of the “Big Dig”, the highway was submerged, allowing the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the contemporary public park in the heart of Boston, to be built. North Meadow on The Greenway’s design will include historical signage in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Commission to celebrate the unique history of this new park space.

As the northern terminus of the park, North Meadow is both a gateway to The Greenway and a pocket of open space for residents and visitors to the surrounding neighborhoods in the West End and North End. Reflecting a commitment to making thoughtful enhancements along the entirety of The Greenway, Greenway BID members provided and leveraged enhancement funds to make this project and placemaking improvement possible.

In planning and design, the community prioritized maximizing nature, creating a place of serenity, and showcasing the site’s history. Serving as a tribute to the Charles River’s estuarine ecology, the park’s native meadow plantings and unique boardwalk create a sense of enclosure and tranquility. North Meadow on The Greenway is a neighborhood park, inviting you to relax and unwind with the backdrop of downtown Boston.

North Meadow on The Greenway is a collaboration with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Greenway BID, and the Greenway Conservancy. The BPDA facilitated a majority of funding for North Meadow on The Greenway through mitigation agreements from a variety of development projects in downtown Boston. The remainder of the project’s budget will be contributed by MassDOT, the Greenway BID, and the Greenway Conservancy.

CONSTRUCTION

The Greenway Conservancy celebrated the construction with a groundbreaking ceremony on July 14, 2021. The groundbreaking included a short speaking program featuring Conservancy Executive Director Chris Cook, Conservancy Board Chair Doug Husid, President & CEO of A Better City  Rick Dimino on behalf of the Greenway Business Improvement District (BID), Greenway BID Board Chair Steve Faber, Acting Commonwealth of Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, and elected officials representing The Greenway including Mayor Kim Janey, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, State Senator Joe Boncore, and City Councilor Lydia Edwards.

Read our press release

The construction of two sidewalks was completed in early August 2021, leaving one sidewalk undeveloped to allow for construction vehicles and equipment onsite. 

In September 2021 MassDOT’s contractor, McCourt Construction, completed their required preliminary work, including a new irrigation box that will be vital for the success of the plantings included in the final park design. 

In October 2021, the Greenway Conservancy’s contractor for park construction, NELM, began site work on North Meadow on The Greenway.

In January 2022, work in progress by the Greenway Conservancy’s contractor for park construction, NELM, included pouring of the structural concrete base for the boardwalk to be followed by the construction of the boardwalk.

In April 2022, the decking for the boardwalk was completed in full in addition to the completion of the stonework in the park. Work in progress by the Greenway Conservancy’s contractor for park construction, NELM, includes electrical, lighting, masonry, soil, and plantings.

As part of the park’s construction, the pedestrian sidewalk adjacent to the site along Beverly Street and the southernmost lane on Valenti Way were closed to traffic and pedestrian travel for the portion of the project. Additionally, the easternmost lane of Beverly Street was permitted for construction between the hours of 9:00a and 3:00p and were marked as such with moveable cones as needed. 

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in July 2022 celebrated the opening of North Meadow on The Greenway, the newest park space in Boston’s contemporary public park formerly known as Parcel 2, in a public Ribbon Cutting ceremony.

The Ribbon Cutting included a short speaking program featuring Conservancy and Greenway Business Improvement District (BID) leadership, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler, and elected officials representing The Greenway including State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, State Senator Lydia Edwards, City Council President Ed Flynn, City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, and City Councilor Kenzie Bok.

To learn more about The Greenway and the work of the Greenway Conservancy, check out our website at rosekennedygreenway.org. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and concerns to info@rosekennedygreenway.org.

This blog post was last updated July 25, 2022. Photos provided by Conservancy Staff, John Wilcox (City of Boston), Hills3 Studio, Lee Daniel Tran Photography, and renderings provided by ASK+/Unknown Studio.