For Immediate Release
October 09, 2012
Parks and Recreation
For More Information Contact:
Two preservation projects on property overseen by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department were recognized with 2012 Preservation Achievement Awards at the annual awards ceremony hosted by the Boston Preservation Alliance at the Paramount Center on October 3.
The Boston Preservation Alliance Preservation Achievement Awards are bestowed annually to honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston, as well as individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to Boston’s historic built environment.
Statler Park was awarded top honors in the Restoration of a Park, Landscape, or Natural Area category and the historic Granary Burying Ground received recognition for Rehabilitation/Restoration of an Iconic Boston Landmark.
Located in Park Square at the junction of Columbus Avenue, Stuart Street, and Arlington Street, renovation of Statler Park started over ten years ago with some early meeting organization and schematic design plan preparation sponsored by the Park Plaza Hotel in cooperation with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. The park now has a reconfigured lawn area with new benches, plants, and irrigation, as well as a central brick paved plaza with new benches and circular irrigated planting beds. New streetlights, tree planters, and bicycle racks line the freshly paved concrete sidewalks. The Department of Public Works helped fund improvements and widening of adjacent roadways, crosswalks and a traffic island.
Statler Park’s centerpiece, a bronze fountain sculpture created in 1930 by American artist Ulysses Ricci, also underwent a restoration which included new plumbing and lighting, a restored fountain base, and perimeter basin wall. The installation of free Wi-Fi and handicap accessible crosswalks make a welcoming environment for the public.
Established in 1660 in the heart of downtown Boston, Granary Burying Ground is the final resting place for historic notables including John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams. An estimated one million people come annually to pay their respects at this significant site. Due to heavy foot traffic from visitors, the Granary and its narrow pathways and grassy areas were subjected to a great deal of wear and tear. Erosion, rainwater runoff, and visitors straying from the narrow paths contributed to the damage.
In order to prevent further degradation of the historic site, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department initiated several measures that would restore and maintain the landscape. The scope of work included widening of the site’s front two pathways, installation of standing areas around popular graves such as those of Sam Adams and James Otis, reconfiguring the area by the grave of John Hancock, installing post-and-chain fencing to keep people on pathways, installing a new path behind Paul Revere’s grave to ease congestion, tree pruning, re-grading, and re-seeding areas where grass was growing poorly.
Significant improvements were undertaken beginning in 2011 thanks to a pair of grants from the Freedom Trail Foundation’s Preservation Fund. The balance of funding for the project came from Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Capital Improvement Program and the Fund for Parks and Recreation.