Riverfront Pavillion Proposed as A Part of Lee Pool Rehabilitation

By Dan Murphy

The proposed renovation of Lee Pool on the Charles River Esplanade includes plans for a year-round, multi-use, riverfront pavilion, said members of the design team during a public meeting at the State Transportation Building on Thursday.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is partnering with the Esplanade Association, Hill House and other stakeholders to reactivate the pool, which opened in 1951 and has been closed since the 1990s. Maryann Thompson Architects of Watertown has been contracted to survey the project site, including the existing bathhouse; develop conceptual design alternatives; and create a final schematic design.

State Rep. Jay Livingstone said it is imperative to start the process now to turn the site back over to the public, especially in light of the closure of the Basketball City recreational facility.

Unlike other major cities, Lauren Hoops-Schmieg, executive director of Hill House, said Boston lacks an accessible recreational-space.

John Shields, who serves on the Charles River Conservancy’s advisory board, advised using the site for river programming, including boating and fishing.

Jeryl Oristaglio, an Esplanade Association board member, recommended that the site accommodate classroom space for environmental programming.

Tani Marinovich, executive director of the Esplanade Association, suggested that the site could accommodate a visitor’s center “to enhance the visitor experience.”

The next public meeting on the project is slated for June, said Wendy Pearl, project manager for Maryann Thompson Architects.

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