-By Dan Murphy
The Boston Landmarks Commission approved the conceptual design for the proposed Esplanade Playspace last week.
Landmark Commission Executive Director Ellen Lipsey said the general design and the playground site, located a short distance from a short distance from the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge near the Hatch Shell café, were approved, pending a review of the design elements. “We look forward to reviewing further details,” Lipsey said.
In 2009, members of the Friends of the Esplanade Playspace approached the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) with its plan of bringing a playground for 5- to 12-year-olds to the state-owned park. Following this initial meeting, the representatives from non-profit group met with numerous stakeholders in the park and hired Boston-based Halvorson Design Partnership as the architect for the project.
The Friends group has since pledged to fully fund construction of the proposed 10,000 square-foot playground and provide an endowment for maintenance and programming, which would aim to combat the high level of childhood obesity in the city.
Tani Marinovich, a founding member of the Friends group, said the Friends group would also restore approximately 20,000 square feet of parkland at the Esplanade as part of the project.
Marinovich added that groundbreaking is scheduled for around April 1, with an opening ceremony tentatively planned for late June.
For more information about the Esplanade Playspace or to make a donation, visit www.esplanadeplayspace.org.