Fourth group bails on Rose Kennedy Greenway developments
Feb 2011 17

Sad news regarding the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The Boston Globe reports today that the YMCA has canceled its plan to build a new facility on a parcel atop the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It’s the fourth and final organization to pull out after being awarded rights to build. The others are the New Center of Arts and Culture, the Boston Museum, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s “Garden Under Glass”.

The most disturbing part of the announcement is what was said by a city official regarding future plans for the multi-acre swath of land.

I spit up my lunch at this quote:

“The notion that this could be one continuous space, and not subdivided by buildings, is a powerful realization,’’ said Kairos Shen, the city of Boston’s chief planner. “The question now is, how do we make sure there are enough activities on or around the Greenway to bring more people down there?’’

The four parcels set aside for buildings were chosen because they are the sites of off- and on-ramps from and to the now-submerged Central Artery.

Leaving them exposed means no one will be able to enjoy the entire walk from one edge of the Greenway to the other. It won’t be aesthetically pleasing, at all.

This latest development means we are back at square one. The wrong decision would be to not build anything. With a turning economy, perhaps now is the time to hear new proposals. By the time they get going, we should see a lot more spending, both private and public. We can certainly find people to donate money to fund new museums and centers.

I was ambivalent about the YMCA proposal, only because the facility wouldn’t be located in a neighborhood, but beside it (the North End). The other proposals were for projects that could be enjoyed by “everyone”.

But, it’s a moot point. They all failed.

The Greenway was conceived from the beginning as a mix of open space and short buildings to be used by community and cultural organizations.

That’s the only smart decision those in charge of the Greenway have made over the past twenty years!

The image above is from the Boston Globe website. It comes from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority – because, of course, they’re involved, too

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