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Beyond The Big Dig
About this project

What happens to the ribbon of land being created by the depression of the Central Artery may be the most important development decision to face Boston in a generation.

Open-space ideas may go public

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff, 11/15/2002

Boston and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority officials yesterday reacted favorably to a proposal for a major public event early next year to show off 50 design professionals' concepts for the post-Big Dig Surface Artery open space.

The proposal, made by the Boston Society of Architects and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects, would bring together all the ideas of the design teams competing to design the Surface Artery public space between Causeway and Kneeland streets.

Details of the plan were presented at yesterday's task force meeting by BSA president Robert Brown and BSLA past president Cynthia Smith. It was first proposed by the city's planning chief, Rebecca Barnes, several weeks ago.

"This is what we've all been waiting for," Barnes said yesterday, "to get some options on the table."

Turnpike officials, who have yet to come to agreement with the city over who controls the design process for the North End, Wharf District, and Chinatown/Leather District land, were in agreement yesterday that a public event to unveil the proposals is a good idea.

The public will not get a look at the ideas until the event is held. In fact, although a designer for the North End parcels has already been selected, city and Turnpike officials are refusing to release the name of the winner until they reach a formal agreement on how to proceed with the rest of the design process.

The public event is tentatively proposed for mid-January at the Boston Public Library.

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