For the past two years, Massport has been working closely with the East Boston Project Advisory Committee (PierPAC) to come up with preliminary designs for the new Piers Park Phase II, a 4.5-acre waterfront park adjacent to the 11-acre Piers Park on Marginal Street.
Last Tuesday at the Kathy Leonard McLean Community Room at the Logan Airport Rental Car Center, Massport officials and members of PierPAC unveiled three different designs for Piers Park Phase II.
While Piers Park is a passive park, Piers Park Phase II will be an active park so the meeting was a way the community’s opportunity to weigh in on design and give Massport and PierPAC input on the types of amenities and activities the community wants to see.
Massport has contracted Kleinfelder Northeast Prime as the park’s landscape architecture and Pressley Associates to work with Kleindfelder in incorporating climate resilience designs into the park to deal with future sea level rise.
“We (Massport and PierPAC) have traveled to New York City and looked at Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Hudson River Park to get some idea,” said Massport’s Anthony Guerriero. “We are building a park not for 2020 but for 2030, for 2040 and beyond. We want to get feedback from the community on these (three) designs..what you like, what you don’t like, what more you want to see.”
At the meeting attendees were provided with the opportunity to give comments on the three different design plans.
The first design’s key feature was an large oval flex-use open space at the center of the park. That lawn space makes up a little over an acre of the site. This space can be used for non-organized sports and recreation.
The open field is surrounded by other amenities like pathways, public seating built into a sea level rise prohibiting berm, exercise equipment, picnic grove, half court basketball court, playground, outdoor classrooms, porch swings along the water and space for Piers Park Sailing Center as well as parking for 65 cars.
The second option has a slightly more ‘softscape’ than the other two options largely due to a smaller parking lot that has 22 fewer spaces than option one.
The design has some of the same features as option one with a large circular playing field in the middle of the proposed park. The idea again is to invite non-structured activities like volleyball or yoga. Like the first option there is seating in the berms, porch swings along the water and basketball courts.
The second option moves the seating area to the waterfront and makes the Sailing Center a more central focal point along the water’s edge as it connects to the rest of the Harborwalk.
The second option also includes a covered pavilion as well as exercise equipment and picnic grove.
The third option calls for a much larger center lawn than the previous two options. The plan calls for a large ellipse surrounded by amenities like a larger picnic grove, berms, benches along the waterfront, basketball courts and play structures.
The biggest difference with the third option is that the parking is located outside the park with room for 35 parking spaces. Also, the paved space around the Sailing Center is much larger.
Guerriero said a final design on the park should be completed by the fall with construction to follow.
After several months of negotiations between Massport officials and the Logan Impact Advisory Committee (LIAG), Massport agreed to fund the Piers Park Phase II project to help mitigate the impacts of both the Terminal E modernization project and the addition of 5,000 new parking spaces at Logan.
Piers Park Phase II, a project that has waited decades for a state bond authorization before it could be funded and constructed will wait no more. Phase II will be a mirror park to the award winning Piers Park, which opened in 1995 as part of Logan Airport mitigation.
Massport’s Anthony Guerriero.
Landscape Architect Marion Pressley of Pressley Associates
PierPAC members Mary Berninger discusses the Piers Park Phase II project at the community meeting.