When we were just kids (not too long ago, but longer than we care to remember), the East Boston waterfront was nothing more than the epitome of a run-down and dilapidated example of urban blight.
The water itself was oily, foul, stinkin’, and dangerous to health. The transformation of the Boston side of the harbor that began in the late 1960s had bypassed this side of the Mystic River entirely. Nobody had a vision (or the available funds, if they did) for what our waterfront could become.
We would note here that a few local residents did have such a vision, both for neighboring Chelsea and East Boston. These residents understood the long history of the East Boston waterfront — where Donald McKay, whose house in East Boston was designated a Boston Landmark in 1977 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, built the famous Clipper merchant ships that sailed around the world in the mid-19th century — and its potential for economic, residential, and recreational development.
However, from those Dark Ages, the East Boston waterfront has emerged, like a proverbial phoenix from the ashes, to become a vibrant and positive part of the community.
The announcement by Massport CEO Thomas Glynn of the development of the long-awaited Piers Park III project to be undertaken by Massport is incredibly gratifying to all of our long-time residents and public officials who have invested so much of themselves into ensuring that the East Boston waterfront be transformed from a diamond-in-the-rough into the even-more sparkling jewel that it soon will become.
The Piers Park III project, which will incorporate the idea of a Piers Park II, has been a missing link that now will connect a greenway-type area that will extend the Jeffries Point greenway along our waterfront area.
We know we join with all of our fellow residents in offering our thanks to Massport and its CEO, Thomas Glynn, for understanding how important this project will be for both the present and future generations of East Boston residents and for making it become a reality.