Where once a highway stood

When Boston went through their “Big Dig” project to bury highways cutting through the core of the city, they had a great idea for some of the above ground land that would be freed up.   Instead of building up an already densely populated area, the city converted the reclaimed space to a varied and beautiful park, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, that snakes along the path of the former John F Fitzgerald Expressway.

On what can only be described as a perfect Sunday morning back in July, my wife and I took the subway to South Station and started exploring the Greenway from its southern tip.   I’m a city dweller, an unabashed fan of big cities and I’m particularly fond of the beauty in the interplay of an urban cityscape and parkland.  There’s no shortage of this along the Greenway:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

The Greenway stretches for a couple of kilometers and offers varied, mixed use public parks that change at each major cross street.   Some of the parks are more densely packed with trees and formal landscaping, and others are more open to the city on both sides:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

As we explored, we were continually excited to see what was coming up next as the parks within the Greenway were all so unique.  For example, on this scorcher of a July day, the Harbor Fog Sculpture by Ross Miller was a huge hit with kids and adults alike:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

A little further ahead we could hear delighted screams and when we came upon the “Rings Fountain” by Clive Grainger we could tell why.  This fountain shot beams of water in the air at variable intervals which kept all the children guessing when a particular spout would shoot into the air:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

One of the major attractions along the string of parks is the Greenway Carousel.  The ride features wildlife native to the state of Massachusetts so you can sit atop a lobster if you’d like.  I’m not ashamed to say I took a ride and chose the lobster:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Along the Greenway there are plenty of places to just sit and enjoy the views.  Here we are taking a break in the shade with the carousel in the background:

Us at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Our last stop at the northern end of the Greenway was North End Parks.  The pool and fountains were getting a great workout on this day.  I loved the European feel and flair of this particular park.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

For the Sunday morning, it hardly felt like we were in a big American city.   The city of Boston and the donors who encouraged its creation and support the operations of this public space did a really great thing.  This was one of the most enjoyable urban public parks I have ever had the pleasure of exploring.

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One thought on “Where once a highway stood

  1. Pingback: Exploring Boston’s North End | Bluenose Traveler

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