What's New at the Boston Harbor Walk
TBHA (The Boston Harbor Association), along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Boston Conservation Commission, and Massachusetts Department Environmental Protection, continues to work with property owners to bring new HarborWalk segments on line as quickly as possible. Nearly 38 miles of the 47-mile HarborWalk are now completed with the remainder slated to open in the next few years as waterfront development moves forward.
East Boston Greenway: As part of the environmental mitigation for the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel Project, the new Bremen Street Park will feature playgrounds, wading pool, spray pools, large open green lawns and a community garden when it opens in late spring 2007. Bremen Street Park is an extension of the East Boston Greenway to Neptune Road and extends down to Prescott Street. There are pedestrian paths as well as bike and jogging paths. A performance amphitheater is included in the park's green space. There are benches along the walkways and public tennis courts. The park designers, Brown, Richardson & Rowe, worked with a local artist to incorporate expressions of local history, in sculptural pieces such as a bronze likeness of Donald McKay, and through artist-inspired park elements. There are drinking water fountains and public restrooms in the park. Visitors will be able to access the park from the MBTA's Airport T stop on the Blue Line, in addition from the East Boston Greenway walking and biking trail, and from Bremen St.
Charlestown Navy Yard: Scheduled to open late Summer 2007, Harborview at the Navy Yard, a mixed-use development, will include a ground floor restaurant and retail spaces. Over one and a half acres of open space will be constructed, all of which will be open to the public, including 550 linear feet of new HarborWalk from the existing HarborWalk at Pier 8 (Shipyard Quarters Marina) all the way along the water's edge to a walkway/view corridor connection at Sixteenth Street. The Harborwalk will have granite blocks along the seawall, interpretive signs along the waterfront, benches, seat walls facing the water, and an additional meandering path parallel to the Harborwalk with landscaping in between and around each of the features. Additional amenities include a water taxi landing, a walkway adjacent to Harborview leading to First Avenue, patios adjacent to the building, a covered walkway leading through the building to First Avenue and restrooms, all of which are open to the general public.
An interim public walkway, with views of the Zakim Bridge, was constructed at Lovejoy Wharf. The temporary walkway will be replaced with a permanent HarborWalk at the time of redevelopment of the property, connecting with the adjacent HarborWalk.
Lewis Wharf: Visitors to the North End waterfront can now use an interim HarborWalk segment at Lewis Wharf in the North End. Opened in December, 2006, this interim segment allows for better access to the nearby Boston Sailing Center. Landscaping and benches will be installed in Spring, 2007.
Long Wharf: Thanks to the Executive Office of Transportation and to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, another new segment along the south side of Long Wharf opened this fall from the Boston Harbor Cruises' building to the end of the wharf. Visitors can watch the activities of the Harbor while enjoying the amenities of this segment including a new boardwalk, benches, and landscaping.
Fort Point Channel
InterContinental Hotel: Since December, 2006, visitors can now enjoy the newest segments of HarborWalk along the Fort Point Channel. As part of the InterContinental Hotel and Residences at 500 Atlantic Ave., a new HarborWalk segment opened along the Fort Point Channel with a generous walkway and well designed landscaping. As of 22 March 2007, visitors can also walk through the newly opened connection to Independence Wharf. An outdoor cafe next to the HarborWalk will open during late spring 2007, and planning for water transportation to this site will begin in the next year.
Central Artery/Tunnel Project and Mass Turnpike Authority segments: The HarborWalk segment at the InterContinental Hotel and Residences connects to the CA/T Project and Massachusetts Transportation Authority recently completed HarborWalk segment next to Russia Wharf along the Fort Point Channel. Visitors can now go from Congress Street to the HarborWalk at the InterContinental Hotel.
This new segment complements the significant additional segments of HarborWalk which the CA/T Project and Mass Turnpike built and opened Fall, 2005. Visitors have been enjoying the new HarborWalk segments from Binford Street to Dorchester Avenue, the segment by Cabot Cove, and on Dorchester Avenue across from the Federal Reserve Bank.
With the Fort Point Channel's improved water quality, employees from the Gillette Company have been sighted catching striped bass during their lunch breaks in 2006.
253 Summer Street: Thanks to Beacon Capital Partners, a missing link between the HarborWalk at 253 Summer Street and the Gillette parcel was completed last year to allow public access from the street to the water's edge.
Boston Children's Museum at 300 Congress Street: The first "green" museum in Boston opened 14 April 2007! Families and the general public are enjoying the newly renovated Boston Children's Museum along the Fort Point Channel. The New Balance Climb, a three story climbing structure, and Kids Power, with bikes, basketball, wall climbing and an interactive dance floor, are already favorites of many children. Visitors can get lunch and snacks at the new Au Bon Pain cafe located in the Museum.
As part of its commitment to "green design", the Museum has integrated roofs with plantings into the new addition; storm water retention system to reduce run-off into the Fort Point Channel; new infrastructure and fixtures to ensure building efficiency; and use of recycled, local, low-emitting building materials.
NSTAR segment on Reserved Channel in South Boston: Required as part of the K Street Electrical Substation project, the new NSTAR HarborWalk segment along the Reserved Channel will open by June 2007, with a new walkway, viewing area, free-of-charge pedestal-mounted binoculars, seating, interpretive signage, and landscaping. NSTAR recently acquired the adjacent property and will eventually connect the new segment with the existing Federal Express HarborWalk. Once connected, these HarborWalk segments will provide some of the best amenities and public access to the waterfront along the Reserved Channel.
Institute of Contemporary Art: The first art museum to be built in Boston in nearly 100 years, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) opened its new waterfront home on Fan Pier in December, 2006. Its new location in South Boston will draw visitors to the HarborWalk year-round. View cutting-edge art in Boston in this magnificent building designed by the renowned architectural firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The ground floor is open free to the general public, with Wolfgang Puck's Water Cafe, ICA gift shop, and public rest rooms. Thursday evenings, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the entire Museum is open free of charge, thanks to Target. On the HarborWalk, see Sergio Vega's parrot payphone sculpture.
Venezia Restaurant, Port Norfolk: As required by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Boston Conservation Commission. Venezia Restaurant in Dorchester completed a new HarborWalk segment and viewing platform next to the restaurant and planted new landscaping next to the parking area.
West Link: As part of the Department of Conservation and Recreation's "Back to the Beaches" program, the West Link HarborWalk in Dorchester segment behind the Bayside Expo Center was completed connecting Old Harbor Park and Carson Beach. A private-public partnership between the Department of Conservation and Recreation and Corcoran Jennison Company will ensure the maintenance of this segment, which includes benches, trellis, bike racks, drinking fountains, interpretative signage, and park with separate pedestrian and bicycle trails.
Neponset II Park: Opened in 2006, the newest addition to the Department of Conservation and Recreation park system, Neponset II Park, provides access to the Neponset River Salt Marsh, one of the few remaining extensive salt marshes in the Boston area. Along the HarborWalk is a ramp for non-motorized boats to access the Neponset River. Other amenities include interpretive signage, spray-fountain for children, drinking fountain, and landscaping. There are parking spaces for visitors and public restrooms in season for this attractive park and HarborWalk segment.Check back soon for more of what's new on Boston's HarborWalk.