Parklets: A new kind of public space in Boston

Mission Hill's parklet is located at 1538 Tremont Street. Photo by Courtney Sacco/Metro
Mission Hill’s parklet is located at 1538 Tremont St. Credit: Courtney Sacco/Metro

Boston has opened its first two parklets, which swap parking spots for outdoor seating.

Officials on Thursday unveiled Boston’s first parklets: one at 1528 Tremont St. in Mission Hill, and another at 351 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain.

Metro first reported on Boston’s plan to design and install the public urban patios last October.

“These new parklets provide great outdoor seating options for local residents and customers of our small business,” said Mayor Thomas Menino. “I hope everyone will pay a visit to this newest addition of open space to the Mission Hill business district.”

Students from Mission Hill Grammar School performed a ribbon cutting for the three-space parklet Thursday, then eagerly spread out at the space’s bistro tables and benches.

Adjacent businesses Mike’s Donuts and Lilly’s Pasta will serve as “parklet partners” to provide day-to-day maintenance of the space.

According to city officials, the public spaces are designed to bring activity to neighborhood and commercial districts by offering people a plact to sit, relax and meet for conversation.

Parklets run between $5,000 and $15,000, according to the city’s Transportation Commissioner Thomas Tinlin. The first round of parklets will be paid for with city funds, Tinlin said, however officials hope to create partnerships with local businesses to help fund future parklet development.

The space is created by building a platform to extend an exisitng sidewalk into one or more on-street parking spaces. Benches, tables, chairs, landscaping bike parking stalls and other amenities are placed on the platform to create a “patio-type” gathering space.

Parklets will be open seasonally, with the temporary structures set up mid-spring and taken down in late fall.

Roxbury resident Rafael Gutiérrez, who passed by Thursday’s Mission Hill unveiling, said he approves of the new addition.

“I think it’s very good because it feels like downtown. You can sit and relax, like Newbury Street. It makes sense,” said Gutiérrez. “It feels welcoming.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…