By Matt Viser, Globe Staff
Governor Deval Patrick said this afternoon that he hopes that the State House can soon reopen to the public a plaza that features a statue of President John F. Kennedy.
The statue of President John F. Kennedy outside the State House.
(John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/file)
"I love this plaza," Patrick said during a press conference and Earth Day event, adding, "We really want to open it. It's a lovely corner of the grounds and I hope to see it done soon."
The area has been restricted since security was increased after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Patrick said security and handicapped access complicate opening the area to the public. Hiring additional staff to oversee another checkpoint could also prove difficult; previous estimates have put that cost at $250,000 annually.
"This is not a time when anybody is looking to expand staff or the payroll, frankly," Patrick said.
The gate is current blocked off to the public, its black bars blocking the front lawn and keeping people from getting too close to large bronze statues of Kennedy, orator Daniel Webster, educator Horace Mann, and religious martyr Anne Hutchinson.
The John Hancock Tower Observatory in Copley Square is the only other major site in the city that is closed for security reasons.
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