The proposed Charlesgate paths and parks will reconnect the Charles River Basin with the Back Bay Fens and reclaim an area overshadowed by highway infrastructure since the mid-20th century. Charlesgate will become a regional north/south greenway link serving tens of thousands of people and will be an innovative park for residents in the Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods.
Background: The Charlesgate was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1880s as a verdant river park linking the Back Bay Fens to the Charles River. This historic park gateway was severed in the mid-20th century by the construction of Storrow Drive in the 1950s and the Bowker Overpass in 1965. Sustained advocacy for restoring a safe greenway link began with the DCR Charles River Basin master plan of 2002 and was advanced by a succession of local and citywide groups. In 2017, The Charlesgate Alliance and Emerald Necklace Conservancy, with assistance from the Solomon Foundation, hired a consultant to develop a visionary design for reclamation of the Charlesgate area. At the same time, MassDOT undertook to redesign Storrow Drive bridges in a way that would dramatically improve parkland connectivity.
|2002||Charlesgate Connection scoping|
|2012||Charlesgate Greenway phase 1 design|
|2016||Storrow Drive bridge redesign|
|2018||Charlesgate area conceptual design|
- 2008 Scoping for greenway links
- 2012 Charlesgate Greenway- Phase 1
- 2016 Charlesgate Parks
Solomon and Barr Investments
Estimated cost to complete
- Charlesgate Alliance
- Emerald Necklace Conservancy
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
- Initiating full design this year