$2 Million+ Planned for North Square’s Renovation
It seems like there are a lot of things going on in Boston, especially when it comes to renovation and improvements. One of them is set to happen in North Square, located at North End. It is the same place where the Paul Revere House can be found. However, the renovation is not the only headline to watch out for. Some updates were circulating that the city of Boston is planning to spend more than $2.5 million in revamping the area, including the installation of new cobblestones.
What the Overhaul May Entail
According to the details of the plan, the project may include the replacement of the cobblestones in the area. This way, it will become more accessible for those with disabilities. The cobblestones have been known to be uneven, and so people with physical challenges find it difficult to move in and around the site.
Also part of the plan is to include the setting up of brighter lighting systems. This particular change will benefit everyone who walks through the area, especially at night. Also, the plan also entails the alignment of street grades, which would allow them to stand more precisely. The renovation could also reset the nautical chains found in the plaza borders.
A First of Its Kind Renovation for North Square
The area has been around for at least three centuries now. Although a refurbishment was performed on the North Square in the 1970s, this one, in particular, is the biggest and most expensive. It will also include the addition of four sculptures, which will be used to display the richness of North End’s history.
With the work on cobblestones as well as the other revamping, the project is expected to finish before the end of 2018.
Although there will be changes soon, the Mayor of the City of Boston, Martin J. Walsh said that North End remains the same through the years. He also believes that the community is one of the most historic and remarkable ones in the United States. With the addition of green space, enhanced accessibility for everyone, and an update on cobblestones, North End will definitely get its 21st-century modernization.
Mayor Walsh Broke Ground for the Reconstruction Project
The Boston Mayor recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the reconstruction project that would get a funding of $2.5 million. When completed, which the developers look forward to doing so by the end of next year, will transform the centuries-old North Square right in North End’s Freedom Trail.
The makeover will improve the square’s walkability, livability, and sustainability. It will also become a greener space with multiple uses. One of the goals of the project is to help the area become more renowned as a destination for cultural activities. At the same time, North Square should be able to accommodate every user, so that everyone can enjoy the historic space.
Mayor Walsh said in a statement that the city of Boston is excited about the past and the future. During the event where he broke ground, along with the developers, he described it as the next chapter of the square. Until today, it is one of the most treasured sites in North End, Boston. The Mayor, along with the onlookers and the citizens are excited to see how the square will transform in the next coming months.
About North Square and the Project
Despite the old age, North Square is a vibrant part of North End. It is among the oldest occupied places in this part of Boston and the entire city itself. It is also a popular destination because of the Paul Revere House and the Freedom Trail. The square receives about four million visitors every year.
The project to renovate the square was planned for some time now. The main purpose was to provide better accessibility to disabled persons. Meanwhile, the people who live nearby, as well as those who use the space, would find the overhaul quite beneficial for them in some ways. It is indeed an interesting project with more than two million in funds available. The budget would cover the following aspects of renovation:
- There will be a reset of the blocks that are made of granite found in the center plaza and the roadway areas.
- There are also new accessibilities for granite paver paths that the pedestrians can use throughout the whole North Square.
- The use of wire-cut brick, which will be around the project’s perimeter is also a part of the plan.
- The resetting of the nautical chain, which is roughly in the same place, will also occur.
- The raising of the Moon Street, which is at the side of the Sacred Heart Church, to the same level as the plaza and the sidewalk will be performed. This part of the project will help the area become a more convenient place for crossings. It would also call the attention of motorists to be more careful and prevent accidents since there is a high number of pedestrians in the site.
- The street lighting will be improved within the square, which will help with its safety and functionality.
The North Square has been around for almost 400 years now and was used as a working space. Until now, it functions as such with some retail and offices in the area. It is also a convening place where people, then and now, use to meet up. The square is indeed a beloved piece of the history of North End.
According to the team of developers and the Boston committee, the design process started in 2014. During this time, priorities were discussed and finally resulted in the current plans for North Square. The primary focus today is to include a safe place where visitors and residents can relax. They should also be able to use the amenities in the area where small children can play without the parents worrying about their safety.
Additionally, there is a green space where people can keep cool and take pleasure in the nature in Boston. With the project currently under construction, more and more people are getting excited about how the transformation will turn out.
Developing the Proposal and the Whole Process
In the early times of the proposal, a developer was chosen back in April. They were chosen to create a certain art project, which will be presented to the public. This particular project was in conjunction with the renovation of North Square.
A few months passed, and the team of artists started working with the Boston Art Commission, the community of North End, and the Public Works Department. Together, these different groups helped one another to further develop the original proposal. These artists are also developing four sculptures that are mentioned above, which will be used to improve the overall look and feel of the sculptural gallery in North End.
The North Square project aligns with the main concerns that have been laid out in the initiative called the Imagine Boston 2030. Its goal is to enhance the neighborhoods in the city by making sure that they have strengthened services and revitalized spaces for the public.
Other important Facts about the North Square Renovation Project
The city of Boston held a construction update meeting back in June to talk about the North Square revamp. The construction began in the fall this year and is expected to achieve completion in the fall of next year.
According to the city planners, the renovation of the square started on the idea that the open space should be available for several urban uses. One of the objectives is to improve the people’s enjoyment whenever they utilize the square. It can be achieved by developing the identity of North Square and turning it into a cultural area where people can access and use it no matter what their needs are.
A series of meetings have already been held to talk about the design and the construction process of North Square. After those events, the plan was completed and was set to be implemented. Construction bids started in the summer.
While there were a few changes, the designs of the new cobblestones will retain the old ones. They will simply be installed after leveling the surface of the area and resetting these stones. Discussions were performed on a variety of topics, and it seemed like most of the public favored the restoration of the cobblestones.
Some people and groups were hesitant about the restoration since cobblestones could make snow removal a bit difficult. Additionally, wheelchairs and maintenance of the pathways can be challenging because of the surface. Therefore, some more modifications were designed and finally, the assigned group was able to configure the system in such a way that the chains would stay while access to openings would become more convenient.
Renovation is not only for the safety of the people but also for aesthetics. Some residents commented before that the sidewalks were a huge issue for them. The project aims to address vehicle access together with the problems with the pathways through the renovation project.