By Dan Murphy
The Boston Parks & Recreation Department and its design team are moving forward with plans for the $3.5 million reconstruction of the Boston Common’s Parkman Plaza and Tremont Street edge.
At a public meeting at Emerson College’s Little Building last Thursday, Gary Claiborne, lead designer for Boston-based Pressley Associates, Inc., outlined a proposal for the redesign of the semi-circular plaza, which measures 130 feet in diameter and was constructed in 1960. The plan includes repaving the plaza with colored concrete, replacing its existing lawn-island with two smaller ones and installing “seat walls” around the site. Construction is slated to begin this summer and continue until the summer of 2017, Claiborne said.
The plaza’s three statues, representing “religion,” “industry” and “learning,” would be relocated near the outer seat walls.
Other proposed changes include extending the existing fence on Tremont Street, as well as the installation of a water-bottle filling station and two light-poles near the Visitor’s Information Center.
Claiborne said the project would result in the loss of no existing trees and proposes the addition of two new ones in on-site planters.
Meanwhile, a Tremont Street resident expressed concern with plans to create three new parking spaces for service vehicles adjacent to the Visitors Information Center. “We don’t need to add parking in the middle of what is supposed to be a greenspace,” he said.
Michele Folts, project manager for the Parks & Recreation Department, said all public comments on the project would be taken into account.
“We’ll be coming back,” Folts said. “This won’t be the last time you’ll hear from us.”