BOSTON – Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh celebrated the groundbreaking of a $2.5 million reconstruction project of North Square in the North End. The project when completed will transform North Square into a livable, walkable, multimodal, green and sustainable square, developing its identity as a cultural destination, while accommodating all users of this historic space.
“In Boston, we are just as excited about our future as we are proud of our past,” said Mayor Walsh. “Today, we begin the next chapter of North Square, one of the North End’s most treasured, historic places. I want to thank everyone who lent their voice to this process, and I look forward to seeing the transformation of this square.”
North Square is one of Boston’s oldest occupied neighborhoods and is a part of a vibrant community fabric in the North End. A popular tourist destination, North Square features the Paul Revere House and the Freedom Trail, which receives four million annual visitors.
Project highlights include:
• New wire-cut brick around the perimeter of the project
• A reset of granite blocks in the roadway and center plaza area
• New accessible granite paver pedestrian paths throughout the square
• Reset nautical chain in roughly the same location
• Moon Street (Sacred Heart Church side) raised to same level as the sidewalk and plaza to ease crossings and call attention to motorists the high number of pedestrians in the Square.
• Enhanced street lighting within the square to improve its functionality and safety
“North Square has been for almost 400 years a working square, a convening place, and a beloved piece of the North End’s rich history,” said Nina Zannieri, Executive Director of the Paul Revere Memorial Association. “We are so pleased that the Mayor has made this special space a priority and are looking forward to a fully rejuvenated and accessible North Square that allows it to continue to serve as a critical part of the history and fabric of the North End.”
The community design process began in 2014, and priorities resulting from those discussions led to the current designs for the square, which include a safe space where residents and visitors can relax, better amenities where children can play, a green place to keep cool and enjoy nature in the city. Now under construction, the square is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
In April, Mayor Walsh announced that A+J Art+Design was selected to create a public art project in conjunction with the reconstruction in North Square. Over the last few months, the artist team has been working with the Public Works Department, the Boston Art Commission and the North End community to further develop their initial proposal. The artists are developing a series of four sculptures to create an intimate and uniquely north end sculptural gallery.
The North Square reconstruction project aligns with the priorities laid out in Imagine Boston 2030 to enhance neighborhoods by improving the public realm, strengthen neighborhood services and encourage contextually sensitive development to improve urban vitality.