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Esplanade group to unveil its vision for park improvements

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  February 6, 2012 12:56 PM

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Bowker PED Bridge Esplanade.jpg

(Watercolors by Frank Costantino)

A watercolor of one possible change to the Esplanade shows a footbridge over part of the Charles River.

The Esplanade Association is hosting a public meeting to present its longterm plans to improve the Esplanade, including proposals for pedestrian pathways, landscape improvements, and a cafe.

The association, a friends group that cares for the park, is set to unveil its Esplanade 2020 study at the Boston Public Library’s Rabb Auditorium Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. to hear suggestions from residents and users of the park. The study outlines the group’s vision of possible changes to the Esplanade.

Hatch Cafe 05 (1).jpgSome proposed changes include a pedestrian bridge over parts of the Charles River, a terrace at the Hatch Oval and a Hatch Cafe (pictured to the left). The proposals are suggestions and designs can change during ongoing discussions with the public, the association said.

A committee of Boston design and planning specialists has worked with park users, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the public since 2010 to examine every element of the park to develop the plan.

The committee made its recommendations with an eye towards restoring historic sites and settings; reclaiming parkland lost to construction; making structures and landscapes maintainable; improving pedestrian access throughout the city; and offering modern facilities, according to the association.

This week’s meeting will be moderated by Dr. Theodore Landsmark, president of the Boston Architectural College. The public will also hear from Edward M. Lambert, Jr., commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages the three-mile park along the Charles River.

The report will be available online in the coming weeks. In addition to the public meeting, people can submit comments via email to info@esplanadeassociation.org with “Esplanade 2020 Unveiled” in the subject line or write to The Esplanade Association, Attn: Esplanade 2020, 376 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.
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Twitter: @YourBeaconHill, @YourBackBay
Email: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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