Greenway Will Stay Green, For Now…

Recently I’ve posted a few articles about the ongoing dispute between Don Chiofaro, developer of International Place, and Mayor Menino regarding height restrictions  on a new office complex that Chiofaro wants to build on The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The problem for Mr. Chiofaro is that there are specific height restrictions in and around the Greenway, an effort to preserve the Boston Harbor skyline, and Menino isn’t budging. But International Place wasn’t the only development slated for the Greenway that probably won’t come to fruition.

During its conception, the Greenway was to be adorned with a brand new YMCA, a museum, and a glass-housed garden, “[because] the buildings were slated to go over the ramps that bring traffic to and from the submerged highway,” reports Casey Ross of “That means platforms would have to be built to support them, at much higher cost to the developers,” Ross explains further. With the added cost of the platforms, the museum is looking to relocate, the garden won’t be built, and the YMCA is still thinking about building, but definitely scaling back.

However, because the state mandates that the ramps must be covered, if they can’t find developers to build over the ramps, they have to come up with another solution. “The nonprofit conservancy that manages the Greenway for the state is exploring its own solutions,” reports Ross, ‘For example, on the parcel near Faneuil Hall that was to host the Boston Museum, the conservancy is proposing to plant a half-acre tree nursery, and paint a mural to liven the concrete walls of the ramp there.” Although only a temporary solution, officials say that, if popular, the nurseries could become a permanent fixture in the Greenway.

“’I think people’s reaction to these parcels as open space should inform the question of what should happen to them in the future,’’ said Nancy Brennan, executive director of the conservancy. ‘This is a time to reframe our vision of the Greenway and what it should be. It’s a chance to get it right.’’’

To read the full Boston Globe article, click here.

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