Outdoor space to take root along D Street near Boston convention center
Right now it’s a barren stretch of gravelly land flanked by large gray and tan buildings.
But later this summer, the nearly 3-acre plot between the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and D Street will likely host bocce games, art installations, live music and possibly food trucks and a beer garden.
Earlier this month the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority approved of a $1.1 million plan to transform the plot of land into a temporary activity space that will likely be in place for the next 18 to 24 months as the authority works it into plans on a proposed permanent expansion for the South Boston convention center.
Jim Rooney, the authority’s executive director, called the space a “laboratory.”
“Rather than do a paper design exercise … why not create a lab and experiment with it as part of the design process,” he said. “We will have some successes and we will make some mistakes and will allow that to inform the design for the permanent space that will be there for decades.”
Some of features of the space include built-in infrastructure like electricity, water and WiFi that will give the space a flexible framework and allow for a variety of events. While the programming ideas for the space range from pop-up restaurants and food truck festivals to ice skating and art displays, nothing has been concretely planned.
As part of the project, the authority has hired consultants including HR&A Advisors who worked on New York City’s High Line, an elevated freight railway that is now a public park.
The space will serve as a connection between the convention center and hotels currently under construction along D Street.
The area will be open for public use, but will also be offered to conventions and attendees to rent out as part of the event.
“The intent is to accommodate all of the [programming] categories now and to continue that with the permanent space,” Rooney said.
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