For decades the Charles Eliot Memorial was overlooked and largely forgotten in a barren patch of ground off the main promenade of the Esplanade. This project, initiated by the Solomon Foundation and Esplanade Association, was intended to create a worthy setting for the memorial, frame views to the river basin, and establish one of the few intimate gathering areas on the otherwise wide open Esplanade.
Background: In the late 1800s, Charles Eliot, was one of the founders of the Trustees of Reservations and the Boston Metropolitan Park System. In a few short years he helped to assemble acres of land that became the core of the metropolitan park system. The granite memorial honors him by listing the parks and reservations of the metropolitan park system that he helped establish. Restored following the success of the new Community Boating dock, the enhanced setting for the memorial provides curving benches and movable chairs and tables for people to rest and relax. The oval frame for the space recalls a designed by the original landscape designer for the Esplanade, Arthur Shurliff. Space was provided for a food truck to help make this a popular gathering place on the Esplanade. Management of the furnishings and horticulture is provided by Esplanade Association staff.
|2010||Conceptual planning started|
|2011||Halvorson Design hired|
|2013||Funding procured from public and private sources|
|2014||Francis Appleton Bridge increases access to the space|
|2019||Food trucks permitted to operate|
- Community Boating Inc.
- The Esplanade Association
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
The project is complete and people are enjoying the plaza.