By Dan Murphy
Beacon Hill Nursery School (BHNS) held the official dedication for its “Menino chair” on Wednesday in memory of the former Boston mayor.
Carved from a tree trunk, the 40-inch wide wooden chair is among the elements of the nursery school’s front playground. It honors Thomas M. Menino, who visited the school on several occasions during his time in office and was instrumental in securing the land for its rear playspace.
“It’s wonderful to see all the things Tommy did and how kids today are still enjoying them,” said his widow, Angela Menino, who read to students from the children’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” at the ceremony. “None of these children would know him, but the things he put in place are helping them with their education and their lives today.”
She added, “I’m very proud of what he did, and that it continues to live on.”
Martha Pierce, who served for many years as the city’s educational advisor under the former mayor, was also hand for the dedication.
“It just brings back memories of how committed Tom Menino was to children, from the youngest to the oldest,” said Pierce, who is also the mother of four grown daughters who attended the nursery school. “He wanted to make sure all children got the quality education and opportunities they deserve.”
Lucinda Ross, the nursery school’s executive director, said while its rear playspace embraces nature, the “Menino chair” is located in the front playground, which attenuates urban elements.
“When we decided to dedicate the chair to him, it seemed very fitting that it look out on the city and the firefighters,” Ross said regarding the front playground’s views of Cambridge Street and the Engine 4/Ladder 24 firehouse.
Meanwhile, Ross said the school came into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act six years ago with the completion of the rear playground at the insistence of the former mayor.
“He was adamant that the building become ADA-compliant, and the last piece was the playground,” Ross said. “It fulfilled our promise to him.”