Mayor Thomas M. Menino today proposed legislation that would allow long-term leases on two historic but dilapidated restrooms in city parks with the hope that a local chef will open concession stands on Boston Common and the Back Bay Fens.
The bill is aimed at the 1920s-era Pink Palace on Boston Common and the 1897 Duck House on Agassiz Road in the Back Bay Fens. It would allow the two structures, which have sat unused for 30 years, to be preserved and leased as park amenities.
"The Emerald Necklace and Boston Common are some of the most iconic destinations in our historic city, and we hope to enhance these areas by activating space that has sat unused for too long, Menino said in a press release.
Its important that any future use of these buildings be in keeping with the historic context of the surrounding area. The Pink Palace and Duck House are unique locations that a local chef or entrepreneur could potentially improve for the enjoyment of thousands of park visitors annually.
The legislation requires several layers of approval before it could be submitted to the state Legislature as a home rule petition. The first step will occur on Feb. 17, when the proposal will be outlined for the Boston Conservation Commission. The City Council would also have to endorse the plan, along with the Park Commission.
While the bill specifically targets the Pink Palace and the Duck House, it is not limited to the two former restrooms and could provide the same potential for other similar structures. The mayor's proposal does not stipulate specific uses for the properties.
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