U.S. Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, State Senator John A. Hart, Jr., State Representative Brian P. Wallace and Boston City Councilor President Michael F. Flaherty joined Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Chief Executive Officer Craig P. Coy and local community leaders to break ground on construction of the South Boston Maritime Park. The park, a 1.3-acre public open space owned by Massport, was designed with extensive public input and is expected to attract a mix of neighborhood residents, local employees and workers, and visitors to South Boston's waterfront.
Congressman Lynch said, "Together with the Harborwalk along Fan Pier, the South Boston Maritime Park will provide convention-goers, tourists, workers and neighbors with a place to relax and appreciate the history and natural beauty of the Waterfront District. This park is the result of the continued leadership and vision of Massport and our shared hope for a long and prosperous future for the Port of Boston."
"Today, we break ground on a park and also celebrate an investment in people. By preserving open space and building this maritime park, we are providing the people of South Boston with a special place to call their own. A place that will honor our long association with the sea and the harbor," said Senator Hart. "I am proud to join my neighbors, elected officials and Massport as we begin construction of this vital investment."
"This project stands as a positive symbol of cooperation and collaboration between Massport, state and city officials, South Boston residents and activists, city planners and design contractors," stated Representative Wallace. "It's a sincere pleasure to see the planning of a beautiful park begin to mature to fruition. This project will enhance the character of the Seaport District and surrounding neighborhood, providing a new gateway to the waterfront where residents, visitors and workers can come together to enjoy the beauty of historic Boston Harbor."
"This park will be a fitting tribute to the men and women who worked in the Port of Boston for so many years and hopefully many years to come. At the same time it will provide the people of this neighborhood with a safe place to gather and enjoy the natural beauty of the South Boston Waterfront," said City Council President Flaherty.
Located at the intersection of D street and Northern Avenue, the park will have a maritime theme celebrating the heritage and contemporary activities of the Port of Boston and Boston Harbor. Also participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were James D. Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel of Manulife USA, Vivien Li of The Boston Harbor Association and Bill Spain, President of the Castle Island Association. Manulife Financial is building their 475,000 sq. ft. U.S. corporate headquarters on a Massport parcel located near the new park.
"We have been pleased by the success of our partnership with Massport on not only the development of Manulife's U.S. Headquarters, but also on Massport's commitment to the South Boston waterfront community," said Mr. Gallagher. "As an integral public space, this new park will bring together residents of South Boston and employees of Seaport District businesses in a beautiful, outdoor setting."
"When this premier park is completed, it will be a great place for public events or private escapes," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "The park's nautical themes celebrate both our proud maritime heritage and the vitality of today's working port. By collaborating with community members and organizations, we have designed a landmark park for the waterfront. Leaders such as Mayor Menino, Congressman Lynch, Senator Hart, Representative Wallace, and City Council President Flaherty deserve credit for helping preserve this valuable parcel for the public."
From the park, visitors will be offered a view of the historic Fish Pier and Boston Harbor. Amenities of the almost $5 million park include canopied trees, a seasonal cafi with outdoor seating, public restrooms, benches, perennial plantings and maritime focused public art. In designing and planning the South Boston
Maritime Park, Massport worked with a broad range of interests including South Boston residents and community groups, local elected officials and organizations, the City of Boston, open space and harbor advocacy groups, and waterfront tenants.
"This new park will be a much-welcomed addition to South Boston's waterfront," said Vivien Li of The Boston Harbor Association. "Residents, workers, and convention-goers will be able to enjoy views of Boston Harbor from this wonderful new open space."